noun Cell Biology.

a stage of cell division during the prophase of meiosis, in which the chromosomes are not distinct but appear as a mass of entangled threads.

Nearby words

  1. leptospira,
  2. leptospiral jaundice,
  3. leptospirosis,
  4. leptospiruria,
  5. leptosporangiate,
  6. leptotrichia,
  7. leptotrombidium,
  8. leptotrombidium akamushi,
  9. lepus,
  10. lequear

Origin of leptotene

< French leptotène (1900); see lepto-, -tene

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

British Dictionary definitions for leptotene



the first stage of the prophase of meiosis during which the nuclear material becomes resolved into slender single-stranded chromosomes

Word Origin for leptotene

C20: from lepto- + -tene, from Greek tainia band, filament

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 leptotene




The early stage of prophase in meiosis in which the replicated chromosomes contract and become visible as long filaments well separated from one another.

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