from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The tangle of filaments that appears at the beginning of the prophase portion of meiosis or mitosis.
- n. Any of these filaments.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The stage of the nucleus in karyokinesis, or mitosis, during which the chromatin assumes the form of a continuous or segmented thread.
German Spirem, from Greek speirēma, coil, from speirāsthai, to be coiled around, from speira, coil.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)