[ kroh-muh-tin ]

nounCell Biology.
  1. the readily stainable substance of a cell nucleus, consisting of DNA, RNA, and various proteins, that forms chromosomes during cell division.

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Origin of chromatin

First recorded in 1880–85; chromat- + -in2

Other words from chromatin

  • chro·ma·tin·ic, adjective
  • chro·ma·toid, adjective

Words Nearby chromatin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use chromatin in a sentence

  • Half the chromatin material passes into each of the two cells formed.

    Taboo and Genetics | Melvin Moses Knight, Iva Lowther Peters, and Phyllis Mary Blanchard
  • Thus sex is inherited, like other characters, by the action of the chromatin material of the cell nucleus.

    Taboo and Genetics | Melvin Moses Knight, Iva Lowther Peters, and Phyllis Mary Blanchard
  • When the cell is resting, the chromatin is dispersed through the nucleus in a mass of broken lines, forming a kind of network.

    Parallel Paths | Thomas William Rolleston

British Dictionary definitions for chromatin


/ (ˈkrəʊmətɪn) /

  1. cytology the part of the nucleus that consists of DNA and proteins, forms the chromosomes, and stains with basic dyes: See also euchromatin, heterochromatin

Derived forms of chromatin

  • chromatinic, adjective
  • chromatoid, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for chromatin


[ krōmə-tĭn ]

  1. The substance distributed in the nucleus of a cell that condenses to form chromosomes during cell division. It consists mainly of DNA and proteins called histones.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.