- any of a group of molecules that, when linked together, form the building blocks of DNA or RNA: composed of a phosphate group, the bases adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine, and a pentose sugar, in RNA the thymine base being replaced by uracil.
Origin of nucleotide
First recorded in 1905–10; alteration of nucleoside
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- biochem a compound consisting of a nucleoside linked to phosphoric acid. Nucleic acids are made up of long chains (polynucleotides) of such compounds
C20: from nucleo- + t (added for ease of pronunciation) + -ide
Word Origin and History for nucleotide
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Any of various compounds consisting of a nucleoside combined with a phosphate group and forming the basic constituent of DNA and RNA.
- Any of a group of organic compounds composed of a nucleoside linked to a phosphate group. Nucleotides are the basic building blocks of nucleic acids.
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