[ tel-uh-meer, tee-luh‐ ]
/ ˈtɛl əˌmɪər, ˈti lə‐ /
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the segment of DNA that occurs at the ends of chromosomes.
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Origin of telomere

First recorded in 1935–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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British Dictionary definitions for telomere

/ (ˈtɛləˌmɪə) /

genetics either of the ends of a chromosome

Word Origin for telomere

C20: from Greek telos end + meros part
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 telomere

[ tĕlə-mîr′, tēlə- ]

Either of the sections of DNA occurring at the extreme ends of each chromosome in a eukaryotic cell. Telomeres consist of highly repetitive sequences of DNA that do not code for proteins, but function as caps to keep chromosomes from fusing together. The length of the telomere influences the stability of genetic information just interior of the telomere, since the nucleotide sequences at the ends of a chromosome are not copied by DNA polymerase. Successive copying can thus shorten telomeres, sometimes to the point that functional genes near the telomeres are lost, and this may play a role in cellular senescence and age-related diseases. In germ cells, stem cells, and some cancer cells, shortened telomeres can be extended by the enzyme telomerase, thus keeping both the telomeres and the genes near them functioning. Most somatic cells do not express telomerase, and the shortening of telomeres during each round of cell division may be part of the natural aging of cells.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for telomere

[ (tel-uh-meer) ]

The long end sequences of a DNA strand occurring at the tip of the chromosomes; a type of repetitive DNA that usually consists of one hundred to fifteen hundred copies of a single DNA sequence.

notes for telomere

During DNA replication, small parts of the telomere are lost with each cycle. Scientists think that this loss may be related to the aging process.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.