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gene

[ jeen ]
/ dʒin /
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noun
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.
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Origin of gene

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

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH gene

genes , jeans

Other definitions for gene (2 of 2)

Gene
[ jeen ]
/ dʒin /

noun
a male given name, form of Eugene.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gene in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for gene (1 of 2)

gene
/ (dʒiːn) /

noun
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 2)

-gene

suffix forming nouns
a variant of -gen
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 gene

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.

Cultural definitions for gene

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.
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