Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A linear strand of DNA and associated proteins in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells that carries the genes and functions in the transmission of hereditary information.
  • noun A circular strand of DNA in bacteria and archaea that contains the hereditary information necessary for cell life.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In cytology, one of the definite segments or pieces of chromatin of the cell-nucleus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Biol.) One of the minute bodies into which the chromatin of the nucleus is resolved during mitotic cell division; the idant of Weismann.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun biology, cytology A structure in the cell nucleus that contains DNA, histone protein, and other structural proteins.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a threadlike strand of DNA in the cell nucleus that carries the genes in a linear order

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

19th century: from German Chromosom, ultimately from Ancient Greek χρῶμα (khroma, "colour") + σῶμα ("body") (because they are stained under the microscope).

Examples

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  • See this map for American pronunciation.

    April 11, 2008