[ 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.
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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
OTHER WORDS FROM chiasmachi·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. 2023
British Dictionary definitions for chiasma
/ (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 chiasmachiasmal 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