[ ep-uh-sohm ]
/ ˈɛp əˌsoʊm /

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.

Origin of episome

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

Related forms

ep·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 episome


/ (ˈɛpɪˌsəʊm) /


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 episome


[ ĕpĭ-sōm′ ]


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.