Definition of conjugation in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌkänjəˈɡāSH(ə)n/


1The formation or existence of a link or connection between things, in particular.
Example sentences
  • It has tied up with them to launch a special contest in conjugation with their forthcoming movie.
  • This unlikely conjugation of sources, which allows him to balance big ideas with emotional flesh, is the only happy marriage in the play.
  • That's an ugly little conjugation, so let's decouple the two.
1.1 Biology The temporary union of two bacteria or unicellular organisms for the exchange of genetic material.
Example sentences
  • The new genes can quickly spread through an E. coli population through a process called conjugation, whereby bacteria exchange DNA directly.
  • However, much antibiotic resistance seems to be acquired by the transfer of plasmids from other species of bacteria via conjugation, which of course does not explain the ultimate origin of the information.
  • Paramecium usually exchanges genetic material by a process of conjugation, when two cells fuse together.
1.2 Biology The fusion of two gametes, especially when they are of a similar size.
Example sentences
  • Failure of mating pairs to mix cytoplasms during conjugation is diagnostic of a complete block in cell fusion.
  • Starvation induces expression of the ste 11 gene that encodes a key transcription factor, which, in turn, upregulates transcription of several genes involved in conjugation, meiosis, and sporulation.
  • After conjugation, chromosomes in the transcriptionally active macronucleus develop by fragmentation, elimination, and amplification of germ line chromosomes.
1.3chiefly Biochemistry The combination of two substances: toxic compounds eliminated from the body by conjugation with glutathione
More example sentences
  • The conjugation of polysaccharides with immunogenic proteins allows to overcome this problem providing an efficient immunological response also in infants.
  • They act in concert with other enzymes to detoxify xenobiotics through conjugation with glutathione to increase water solubility.
  • In the liver, to which is transported in the plasma bound to albumin, bilirubin is solubilized by conjugation to glucuronate.
1.4 Chemistry The sharing of electron density between nearby multiple bonds in a molecule.
Example sentences
  • When eight double bonds are in conjugation, the molecule absorbs visible light and is colored.
  • But the other two carbon atoms are also double-bonded to each other, which results in conjugation of the electron density in the bonds.
  • They are purified cellfree hemoglobins, where the globin portion of the molecule has been modified chemically by conjugation, cross-linking or polymerizing.
1.5 Mathematics The solution of a problem by transforming it into an equivalent problem of a different form, solving this, and then reversing the transformation.
Example sentences
  • This latest mathematical conjugation comes from a pair of British researchers who interviewed 1000 people to draw up their formula.
2 Grammar The variation of the form of a verb in an inflected language such as Latin, by which are identified the voice, mood, tense, number, and person.
Example sentences
  • To this day, if you ask me about me about verb conjugation or tenses, I can only tell you what it is in French.
  • A convenient summary of Latin declension and conjugation is available on-line here.
  • Luckily for us, there is also no verb conjugation.
2.1The class in which a verb is put according to the manner of this variation: a past participle of the first conjugation
More example sentences
  • Noting this ‘a’ should help you to distinguish verbs of the first conjugation from those of the second, third, or fourth conjugations.
  • Do not worry if you cannot tell a second from a third conjugation verb: the important differences for you are between the first conjugation, the fourth conjugation, and the second and third conjugations taken together as a unit.
  • These are of the first Conjugation, and signify, that the Action which they express is done only in a small Degree.



Pronunciation: /ˌkänjəˈɡāSH(ə)n(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • I will address, for non-linguist readers, inflections, most familiar as the noisome declensional and conjugational suffixes that bedevil English-speaking learners of, seemingly, most foreign languages we encounter.
  • Scavenger cells are included to consume traces of usable carbon sources contaminating the medium, but they can also act as conjugational recipients and acquire a plasmid by transfer from tester cells.
  • Consequently, the conjugational activity can be low when most cells carry the plasmid but increase greatly in response to plasmid-free cells.


Late Middle English (sense 2): from Latin conjugatio(n-), from conjugare 'join together' (see conjugate).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·ju·ga·tion

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