noun Genetics.

bacterial DNA that is extrachromosomal and that may replicate autonomously as a plasmid or become incorporated into the chromosome and replicate with it.

Nearby words

  1. episiostenosis,
  2. episiotomy,
  3. episode,
  4. episodic,
  5. episodic memory,
  6. epispadias,
  7. epispastic,
  8. episplenitis,
  9. epispore,
  10. epist.

Origin of episome

First recorded in 1930–35; epi- + -some3

Related formsep·i·so·mal, adjectiveep·i·so·mal·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for episomal



a unit of genetic material (DNA) in bacteria, such as a plasmid, that can either replicate independently or can be integrated into the host chromosome
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

Medicine definitions for episomal




A genetic particle within certain cells, especially bacterial cells, that can exist either autonomously in the cytoplasm or as part of a chromosome.

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