from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The characterization of the chromosomal complement of an individual or a species, including number, form, and size of the chromosomes.
  • n. A photomicrograph of chromosomes arranged according to a standard classification.
  • transitive v. To classify and array (the chromosome complement of an organism or a species) according to the arrangement, number, size, shape, or other characteristics of the chromosomes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The observed characteristics (number, type, shape etc) of the chromosomes of an individual or species.
  • n. A record of such characteristics, usually photographic.
  • n. (genetics) A group of individuals or species that have the same chromosomal characteristics.
  • v. To investigate or record such characteristics

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

  • n. the appearance of the chromosomal makeup of a somatic cell in an individual or species (including the number and arrangement and size and structure of the chromosomes)


From Russian кариотип, corresponding to karyo- + -type. (Wiktionary)



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  • The geneticist who read the x-ray photomicrography of their chromosomes called a karyotype said that they were normal, healthy, and not at any greater risk than others. . . . Prior to this he had analyzed only karyotypes of drosophila (fruit flies), not humans.
    James B. Lieber, Killer Care: How Medical Error Became America's Third Largest Cause of Death, and What Can Be Done About It (New York: OR Books, 2015), Introduction.

    May 16, 2016