Definition of conjugate in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkänjəˌɡāt/ /ˈkɑndʒəˌɡeɪt/ /ˈkänjəɡət/ /ˈkɑndʒəɡət/

See synonyms for conjugate on

Translate conjugate into Spanish


  • 1Grammar
    with object Give the different forms of (a verb in an inflected language) as they vary according to voice, mood, tense, number, and person.

    ‘conjugating verbs forms part of language study’
    • ‘A French language lesson follows with the Brother conjugating the reflexive verb deshabiller, ‘to undress’.’
    • ‘Tenses are confused, verbs are conjugated and there's a creek to swim in to give relief from the merciless sun.’
    • ‘In a month, they were writing the alphabet, conjugating verbs, and making small sentences.’
    • ‘Oh yeah, I'm trying to learn how to conjugate verbs in Japanese now.’
    • ‘And don't worry, even French four students occasionally forget how to conjugate verbs.’
  • 2Biology
    no object (of bacteria or unicellular organisms) become temporarily united in order to exchange genetic material.

    ‘E. coli only conjugate when one of the cells possesses fertility genes’
    • ‘The phh1 single mutant is not completely sterile but is nearly sterile, whereas the msa1 deletion mutants conjugated efficiently even in nutrient-rich medium.’
    • ‘This is essential to the survival of ciliate lineages; most ciliates cannot reproduce indefinitely by asexual fission, and eventually die out if prohibited from conjugating.’
    • ‘The solid line designates a plasmid that conjugates slowly but imposes a low cost of carriage, whereas the dashed line indicates a faster-conjugating plasmid that imposes a higher cost.’
    • ‘A number of such DNA-binding peptides conjugated to intercalating dyes have been synthesized and characterized in the authors' laboratory.’
    • ‘In autophagy, this protein is known to conjugate to the autophagosomal membrane through phosphatidylethanolamine lipidation and to take part in autophagosome formation and expansion.’
    1. 2.1(of gametes) become fused.
      ‘Under the same conditions, wild-type cells conjugated and succeeded in producing spores.’
      • ‘Haploid cells conjugated to form zygotes, which then underwent meiosis.’
  • 3Chemistry
    with object Be combined with or joined to reversibly.

    ‘bilirubin is then conjugated by liver enzymes and excreted in the bile’
    • ‘After estrone hydroxylation, the various poly-hydroxy derivatives are conjugated with glucuronate or sulfate, or methylation occurs prior to excretion in urine.’
    • ‘Fluorescein is frequently conjugated to macromolecules via lysine residues using an isothiocyanate derivative or to sulfhydryl groups via a variety of chemistries.’
    • ‘In the liver it is conjugated with glucuronate which renders it water soluble.’
    • ‘Conjugated hyperbilirubinemia also may result from problems that occur after the bilirubin is conjugated in the liver.’
    • ‘The researchers decided to conjugate cholesterol to PEI to act as a hydrophobic lipid anchor, and it turned out that the cholesterol enhanced endocytosis of the complex.’


  • 1technical Coupled, connected, or related.

    ‘One secondary terminal is connected directly to the spark plug of the parent cylinder while the other is connected to the second spark plug of the conjugate cylinder.’
    • ‘The conjugate phrase, ‘operates to a significant extent for the benefit’, directs attention to certain features of the Trust.’
    • ‘The principles governing the seismic behavior of structures are the conjugate laws of equilibrium and compatibility, and force-displacement relationships of structural components.’
    1. 1.1Chemistry (of an acid or base) related to the corresponding base or acid by loss or gain of a proton.
      ‘Of course, one can change the pH of the buffer by selecting other concentrations of acid and conjugate base, but the range of pH values over which a given buffer functions most effectively are close to the pK a of the acid.’
      • ‘The most common buffers are mixtures of weak acids and their conjugate bases.’
      • ‘In other words, the term pK a is that pH at which an equivalent distribution of acid and conjugate base (or base and conjugate acid) exists in solution.’
      • ‘Compounds containing this group are enols, and their conjugate bases - the C = COH anion - are enolates.’
      • ‘Its chromophore structure is also very simple: the conjugate base of p-hydroxythiocinnamate.’
    2. 1.2Mathematics Joined in a reciprocal relation, especially having the same real parts and equal magnitudes but opposite signs of imaginary parts.
      ‘The quartic in y must factor into two quadratics with real coefficients, since any complex roots must occur in conjugate pairs.’
      • ‘He worked on conjugate functions in multidimensional euclidean space and the theory of functions of a complex variable.’
      • ‘Basically, the fifth coordinate was not observable but was a physical quantity that was conjugate to the electrical charge.’
      • ‘Geometry optimization was performed by the use of steepest descent and conjugate gradient algorithms.’
      • ‘The energy of the final ‘annealed’ structure was then minimized using the conjugate gradient algorithm.’
    3. 1.3Geometry (of angles) adding up to 360°; (of arcs) combining to form a complete circle.
    4. 1.4Biology (of gametes) fused.


  • 1Biochemistry
    A substance formed by the reversible combination of two or more others.

    ‘Under similar experimental conditions, the carotene conjugate did not produce singlet oxygen.’
    • ‘Cytotoxicity of conjugates may be influenced by many factors, including drug loading, side-chain hydrophobicity and net charge, which may ultimately affect singlet oxygen generation.’
    • ‘However, very few proteins form stable ubiquitin conjugates.’
    • ‘The protein concentration of the protein conjugate and the degree of labeling were calculated from the following equations according to the instructions of the manufacturer.’
    • ‘Phase III consists of further metabolism of glutathione conjugates.’
  • 2A mathematical value or entity having a reciprocal relation with another.

    • ‘There are two cams fixed on a common shaft that are mathematical conjugates of one another.’


Late 15th century (as an adjective): from Latin conjugat- ‘yoked together’, from the verb conjugare, from con- ‘together’ + jugum ‘yoke’.