• synonyms


[ jeen ]
/ dʒin /


the basic physical unit of heredity; a linear sequence of nucleotides along a segment of DNA that provides the coded instructions for synthesis of RNA, which, when translated into protein, leads to the expression of hereditary character.


What Does 🤟 Love-you-gesture Emoji Mean?The love-you gesture or I love you hand sign emoji is the American Sign Language gesture for "I love you," showing a hand with a raised index finger and pinky (little) finger and an extended thumb. It comes in a range of skin tones.


heredity, RNA, chromosome

Nearby words

gender-variant, gendered, genderize, genderlect, genderqueer, gene, gene amplification, gene augmentation therapy, gene bank, gene clone, gene doping

Origin of gene

1911; < German Gen (1909), apparently abstracted from -gen -gen; introduced by Danish geneticist Wilhelm L. Johannsen (1857–1927)
Can be confusedgenes jeans

Definition for gene (2 of 5)


[ jeen ]
/ dʒin /


a male given name, form of Eugene.

Definition for gene (3 of 5)


a combining form meaning “that which produces,” used in the formation of compound words: endogen; hydrogen.
Also -gene.

Origin of -gen

< French -gèneGreek -genēs born, produced; akin to Latin genus, kin

Definition for gene (4 of 5)


[ kel-ee ]
/ ˈkɛl i /


Definition for gene (5 of 5)


[ tuhn-ee ]
/ ˈtʌn i /


James JosephGene, 1898–1978, U.S. boxer: world heavyweight champion 1926–28. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gene

British Dictionary definitions for gene (1 of 4)


/ (dʒiːn) /


a unit of heredity composed of DNA occupying a fixed position on a chromosome (some viral genes are composed of RNA). A gene may determine a characteristic of an individual by specifying a polypeptide chain that forms a protein or part of a protein (structural gene); or encode an RNA molecule; or regulate the operation of other genes or repress such operationSee also operon

Word Origin for gene

C20: from German Gen, shortened from Pangen; see pan-, -gen

British Dictionary definitions for gene (2 of 4)


/ (ˈkɛlɪ) /


Gene, full name Eugene Curran Kelly. 1912–96, US dancer, choreographer, film actor, and director. His many films include An American in Paris (1951) and Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Grace. 1929–82, US film actress. Her films included High Noon (1952) and High Society (1956). She married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956 and died following a car crash
Ned. 1855–80, Australian horse and cattle thief and bushranger, active in Victoria: captured by the police and hanged
game as Ned Kelly or as game as Ned Kelly See game 1 (def. 25)

British Dictionary definitions for gene (3 of 4)


/ (ˈtʌnɪ) /


Gene, original name James Joseph Tunney . 1897–1978, US boxer; world heavyweight champion (1926–28)

British Dictionary definitions for gene (4 of 4)


suffix forming nouns

producing or that which produceshydrogen
something producedcarcinogen

Word Origin for -gen

via French -gène, from Greek -genēs born
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 gene (1 of 2)


[ jēn ]


A hereditary unit that occupies a specific location on a chromosome, determines a particular characteristic in an organism by directing the formation of a specific protein, and is capable of replicating itself at each cell division.

Medicine definitions for gene (2 of 2)



One that is produced:phosgene.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for gene


[ jēn ]

A segment of DNA, occupying a specific place on a chromosome, that is the basic unit of heredity. Genes act by directing the production of RNA, which determines the synthesis of proteins that make up living matter and are the catalysts of all cellular processes. The proteins that are determined by genetic DNA result in specific physical traits, such as the shape of a plant leaf, the coloration of an animal's coat, or the texture of a person's hair. Different forms of genes, called alleles, determine how these traits are expressed in a given individual. Humans are thought to have 20,000 to 25,000 genes; bacteria have between 500 and 6,000. See also dominant recessive. See Note at Mendel.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for gene


A portion of a DNA molecule that serves as the basic unit of heredity. Genes control the characteristics that an offspring will have by transmitting information in the sequence of nucleotides on short sections of DNA.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.