gene

noun

plural genes
: a specific sequence of nucleotides in DNA or RNA that is located usually on a chromosome and that is the functional unit of inheritance controlling the transmission and expression of one or more traits by specifying the structure of a particular polypeptide and especially a protein or controlling the function of other genetic material

Examples of gene in a Sentence

She inherited a good set of genes from her parents.
Recent Examples on the Web Certain genes can also influence how much cholesterol your body makes. Knvul Sheikh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Feb. 2024 The musical gene was also passed down to J. Lack, and over the years, Usher has expressed his pride in his brother’s work. Catherine Santino, Peoplemag, 12 Feb. 2024 Testing the ‘significant role’ of Xist The Xist molecule’s main job is to deactivate the second female X chromosome in embryos, ensuring that the body’s cells don’t get a potentially toxic double whammy of the chromosome’s protein-coding genes. Katie Hunt, CNN, 9 Feb. 2024 That's a huge jump from previous studies, which estimated that a person's genes only explained about 1% of their likelihood of infection. Alice Park, TIME, 8 Feb. 2024 The engineering left only a cassette containing the genes responsible for copying the phage genome. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, 5 Feb. 2024 Researchers are hoping to transfer genes from diazotrophs into cereals, giving them the power to fix nitrogen. Matthew Hutson, The New Yorker, 6 Feb. 2024 In 2016, his lab screened the genes of seedlings to find mutant plants with unusual responses to light. Quanta Magazine, 31 Jan. 2024 Jamón Ibérico comes in four classifications based on a pig’s genes and its diet, and labels are color-coded to reflect the strict standards set by Spain. Bonnie Berkowitz, Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gene.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

German Gen, short for Pangen, from pan- + -gen

First Known Use

1909, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gene was in 1909

Dictionary Entries Near gene

Cite this Entry

“Gene.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gene. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

gene

noun
: a part of DNA or sometimes RNA that is usually located on a chromosome and that contains chemical information needed to make a particular protein (as an enzyme) controlling or influencing an inherited bodily trait or activity (as eye color or metabolism) or that influences or controls the activity of another gene or genes

Medical Definition

gene

noun
: a specific sequence of nucleotides in DNA or RNA that is located usually on a chromosome and that is the functional unit of inheritance controlling the transmission and expression of one or more traits by specifying the structure of a particular polypeptide and especially a protein or controlling the function of other genetic material

called also determinant, determiner, factor

More from Merriam-Webster on gene

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