[ op-uh-ron ]
/ ˈɒp əˌrɒn /

noun Genetics.

a set of two or more adjacent cistrons whose transcription is under the coordinated control of a promoter, an operator, and a regulator gene.

Origin of operon

1960–65; < French opéron, equivalent to opér(er) to work, operate + -on -on1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for operon


/ (ˈɒpəˌrɒn) /


genetics a group of adjacent genes in bacteria functioning as a unit, consisting of structural genes and an operator

Word Origin for operon

C20: from operate
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 operon


[ ŏpə-rŏn′ ]


A unit of gene activity consisting of a sequence of genetic material that functions in a coordinated manner to control the production of mRNA and that consists of an operator gene, a promoter, and two or more structural genes.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for operon


[ ŏpə-rŏn′ ]

A sequence of genetic material that functions in a coordinated manner, consisting of an operator, a promoter, and one or more structural genes that are transcribed together. Operons were first found in prokaryotes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.