Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[tel-uh-meer, tee-luh‐] /ˈtɛl əˌmɪər, ˈti lə‐/
the segment of DNA that occurs at the ends of chromosomes.
Origin of telomere
First recorded in 1935-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for telomere
Contemporary Examples
British Dictionary definitions for telomere


(genetics) either of the ends of a chromosome
Word Origin
C20: from Greek telos end + meros part
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
telomere in Medicine

telomere tel·o·mere (těl'ə-mēr', tē'lə-)
Either end of a chromosome; a terminal chromosome.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
telomere in Science
  (těl'ə-mîr', tē'lə-)   
Either of the sections of DNA occurring at the extreme ends of each chromosome in a eukaryotic cell. Telomeres consist of highly repetitive sequences of DNA that do not code for proteins, but function as caps to keep chromosomes from fusing together. The length of the telomere influences the stability of genetic information just interior of the telomere, since the nucleotide sequences at the ends of a chromosome are not copied by DNA polymerase. Successive copying can thus shorten telomeres, sometimes to the point that functional genes near the telomeres are lost, and this may play a role in cellular senescence and age-related diseases. In germ cells, stem cells, and some cancer cells, shortened telomeres can be extended by the enzyme telomerase, thus keeping both the telomeres and the genes near them functioning. Most somatic cells do not express telomerase, and the shortening of telomeres during each round of cell division may be part of the natural aging of cells.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
telomere in Culture
telomere [(tel-uh-meer)]

The long end sequences of a DNA strand occuring at the tip of the chromosomes; a type of repetitive DNA that usually consists of one hundred to fifteen hundred copies of a single DNA sequence.

Note: During DNA replication, small parts of the telomere are lost with each cycle. Scientists think that this loss may be related to the aging process.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for telomere

Difficulty index for telomere

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for telomere

Scrabble Words With Friends