any cellular organism that has no nuclear membrane, no organelles in the cytoplasm except ribosomes, and has its genetic material in the form of single continuous strands forming coils or loops, characteristic of all organisms in the kingdom Monera, as the bacteria.
- Sometimes pro·car·y·ote .
- pro·kar·y·ot·ic, pro·car·y·ot·ic [proh-kar-ee-ot-ik], /proʊˌkær iˈɒt ɪk/, adjective
- Compare eukaryote.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use prokaryote in a sentence
Because archaea are relatively simple prokaryotes with small genomes, “I don’t think that the original role of histones was to control gene expression, or at least not in a manner that we are used to from eukaryotes,” Warnecke said.DNA’s Histone Spools Hint at How Complex Cells Evolved | Viviane Callier | May 10, 2021 | Quanta Magazine
British Dictionary definitions for prokaryote
any organism having cells in each of which the genetic material is in a single DNA chain, not enclosed in a nucleus. Bacteria and archaeans are prokaryotes: Compare eukaryote
- prokaryotic or procaryotic (prəʊˌkærɪˈɒtɪk), adjective
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 prokaryote
Any of a wide variety of one-celled organisms of the kingdom Monera (or Prokaryota) that are the most primitive and ancient known forms of life. Prokaryotes lack a distinct cell nucleus and their DNA is not organized into chromosomes. They also lack the internal structures bound by membranes called organelles, such as mitochondria. At the molecular level, prokaryotes differ from eukaryotes in the structure of their lipids and of certain metabolic enzymes, and in how genes are expressed for protein synthesis. Prokaryotes reproduce asexually and include the bacteria and blue-green algae. Also called moneran Compare eukaryote. See Table at taxonomy.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.