[ kahy-az-muh ]
/ kaɪˈæz mə /
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noun, plural chi·as·mas, chi·as·ma·ta [kahy-az-muh-tuh]. /kaɪˈæz mə tə/.
Anatomy. a crossing or decussation, as that of the optic nerves at the base of the brain.
Cell Biology. a point of overlap of paired chromatids at which fusion and exchange of genetic material take place during prophase of meiosis.
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
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The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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Also chi·asm [kahy-az-uhm]. /ˈkaɪ æz əm/.

Origin of chiasma

1830–40; <Greek: crosspiece of wood, cross-bandage, equivalent to chichi1 + -asma noun suffix


chi·as·mal, chi·as·mic, chi·as·mat·ic [kahy-az-mat-ik], /ˌkaɪ æzˈmæt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

British Dictionary definitions for chiasma


chiasm (ˈkaɪæzəm)

/ (kaɪˈæzmə) /

noun plural -mas, -mata (-mətə) or -asms
cytology the cross-shaped connection produced by the crossing over of pairing chromosomes during meiosis
anatomy the crossing over of two parts or structures, such as the fibres of the optic nerves in the brain

Derived forms of chiasma

chiasmal or chiasmic, adjective

Word Origin for chiasma

C19: from Greek khiasma wooden crosspiece, from khiazein to mark with an X, from khi chi 1
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

Medical definitions for chiasma

[ kī-ăzmə ]

n. pl. chi•as•mas
A crossing or intersection of two tracts, as of nerves or ligaments.
The point of contact between paired chromatids during meiosis, resulting in a cross-shaped configuration and representing the cytological manifestation of crossing over.

Other words from chiasma

chi•asmal null null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.