• synonyms


[yoo r-uh-sil]
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  1. Biochemistry. a pyrimidine base, C4H4N2O2, that is one of the fundamental components of RNA, in which it forms base pairs with adenine. Symbol: U
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Origin of uracil

1905–10; ur-1 + ac(etic) + -il, of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for uracil


  1. biochem a pyrimidine present in all living cells, usually in a combined form, as in RNA. Formula: C 4 H 4 N 2 O 2
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Word Origin

C20: from uro- 1 + acetic + -ile
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

Word Origin and History for uracil

coined in German, 1885, perhaps from urea + German Acetsäure "acetic acid" + chemical suffix -il.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

uracil in Medicine


  1. A pyrimidine base that is an essential constituent of RNA.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

uracil in Science


  1. A pyrimidine base that is a component of RNA. It forms a base pair with adenine during transcription. Uracil is therefore structurally analogous to thymine in molecules of DNA. Chemical formula: C4H4N2O2.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.