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

Example Sentences

She inherited a good set of genes from her parents.
Recent Examples on the Web One gene variant causes alcohol to break down into acetaldehyde faster, flooding the body with the toxin. Dana G. Smith, New York Times, 13 Jan. 2023 This gene occurs mainly in descendants of people from regions where malaria is prevalent such as sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central America. Amar Kelkar, STAT, 21 Dec. 2022 Removing this gene prevented the virus from infecting or replicating within host hare cells. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 6 June 2022 In people, alterations to this gene are linked to back problems. Amber Dance, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 May 2022 This gene is considered a master regulator of the cell cycle and without it, cells are transformed and immortalized into the continually-dividing cells common to all cancers. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 25 Apr. 2022 Still, seeing such successful research surrounding CRISPR ancestors is amazing, and something that folks in the gene-editing field can look forward to digging into more as new research comes out about it. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 4 Jan. 2023 But this discovery also provided a perfect target for CRISPR gene-editing therapies. Markham Heid, Time, 6 Dec. 2022 With a deep understanding of the mammoth genome and gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR, the pitch usually goes, geneticists would be able to start with an Asian elephant and reverse engineer a woolly mammoth. Riley Black, Discover Magazine, 28 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gene.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 5 Feb. 2023.

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

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