Definition of gene noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//dʒiːn//
; NAmE NAmE//dʒiːn//
(biology) Cell biology
jump to other results
  • a unit inside a cell which controls a particular quality in a living thing that has been passed on from its parents a dominant/recessive gene genes that code for the colour of the eyes see also genetic Wordfinderbiology, biotechnology, breed, cell, chromosome, DNA, gene, mutation, organism, protein See related entries: Cell biology
  • Word Originearly 20th cent.: from German Gen, from Pangen, a supposed ultimate unit of heredity (from Greek pan- ‘all’ + genos ‘race, kind, offspring’).Extra examples An individual may pass on to future generations its genes for tallness. Gene mutations are alterations in the DNA code. Genes control the development of an embryo. The gene is passed on to their children. We may be able to identify the genes responsible for disease resistance. people who carry the gene that causes this diseaseIdioms to be a quality that your parents have passed on to you I've always enjoyed music—it's in the genes.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: gene