Definition of telomere in English:


Pronunciation /ˈtēləmiər/ /ˈtiləmɪər/ /ˈteləˌmi(ə)r/ /ˈtɛləˌmɪ(ə)r/


  • A compound structure at the end of a chromosome.

    ‘Which chromosomes have the shortest telomeres depends only on telomere length in the original parent mice.’
    • ‘These two genes are tightly linked to the left telomere of the X chromosome.’
    • ‘In normal somatic cells, the telomeres shorten with replicative age, and telomerase is not detected.’
    • ‘It has long been thought that the grouping of telomeres is important for chromosome pairing and subsequent synapsis.’
    • ‘Without telomeres, the chromosomes would ‘fray’ when the cells divided.’


1940s from Greek telos ‘end’ + meros ‘part’.