Definition of nucleic acid in English:

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nucleic acid

Pronunciation: /n(y)o͞oˌklēik ˈasəd/


A complex organic substance present in living cells, especially DNA or RNA, whose molecules consist of many nucleotides linked in a long chain.
Example sentences
  • The cell uses a related nucleic acid called RNA (ribonucleic acid) to construct a working copy of that strand.
  • There are two types of nucleic acids, DNA and RNA, both of which are suitable for the transfer of information.
  • The order of amino acids in proteins is recorded in the genetic code housed in the nucleic acids, DNA and RNA.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: nu·cle·ic ac·id

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