any of the pairs of the hydrogen-bonded purine and pyrimidine bases that form the links between the sugar-phosphate backbones of nucleic acid molecules: the pairs are adenine and thymine in DNA, adenine and uracil in RNA, and guanine and cytosine in both DNA and RNA.
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“Compliment” and “complement” had a shared meaning a long time ago, but today they are no longer interchangeable.
Origin of base pair
First recorded in 1960–65
Words nearby base pair
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Medical definitions for base pair
The pair of nitrogenous bases that connects the complementary strands of DNA or of double-stranded RNA and consists of a purine linked by hydrogen bonds to a pyrimidine: adenine-thymine and guanine-cytosine in DNA, and adenine-uracil and guanine-cytosine in RNA.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Scientific definitions for base pair
Any of the pairs of nucleotides connecting the complementary strands of a molecule of DNA or RNA and consisting of a purine linked to a pyrimidine by hydrogen bonds. The base pairs are adenine-thymine and guanine-cytosine in DNA, and adenine-uracil and guanine-cytosine in RNA or in hybrid DNA-RNA pairing. Base pairs may be thought of as the rungs of the DNA ladder.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.