- a chromosome, differing in shape or function from other chromosomes, that determines the sex of an individual.
Origin of sex chromosome
First recorded in 1910–15
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- Either of a pair of chromosomes, usually designated X or Y, that combine to determine the sex and sex-linked characteristics of an individual, with XX resulting in a female and XY in a male.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Either of a pair of chromosomes, usually called X and Y, that in combination determine the sex of an individual in many animals and in some plants. In mammals, XX results in a female and XY in a male, while the opposite is true in birds (where the designations ZW for female and ZZ for male are often used). Sex chromosomes carry the genes that control the development of reproductive organs and secondary sex characteristics. In some organisms, sex is determined by environmental influences. See also X-chromosome Y-chromosome.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.