- The definition of a chromosome is a thread-like structure of DNA (nucleic acids and proteins) that carries genes.
The "X" or "Y" gene that determines whether you will be a boy or a girl is an example of a chromosome.
Origin of chromosomechromo- + -some
- 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.
- A circular strand of DNA in bacteria and archaea that contains the hereditary information necessary for cell life.
- chro′mo·so′mal , chro′mo·so′mic
replicated Y-chromosome (left) and X-chromosome (right) during cell division
19th century: from German Chromosom, ultimately from Ancient Greek χρῶμα (khroma, “colour”) + σῶμα (sōma, “body”) (because they are stained under the microscope).