1. A linear strand of DNA and associated proteins in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells that carries the genes and functions in the transmission of hereditary information.
2. A circular strand of DNA in bacteria and archaea that contains the hereditary information necessary for cell life.
chro′mo·somal (-sōməl), chro′mo·somic (-sōmĭk) adj.
(click for a larger image)chromosome
replicated Y chromosome (left) and X chromosome (right) during cell division
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.