Definition of locus in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlōkəs/

noun (plural loci /ˈlōˌsī/ /-ˌsē/ /-ˌkē/ /-ˌkī/)

1 technical A particular position, point, or place: it is impossible to specify the exact locus in the brain of these neural events
More example sentences
  • It all revolved around the idea that the body is a locus of memory, and it brought that idea into so many dimensions.
  • He is too quick to conclude that the Web, as a locus for and medium of art, is a failure.
  • It seems to understand that the locus of failure isn't external and partial.
1.1The effective or perceived location of something abstract: the real locus of power is the informal council
More example sentences
  • Although the Roman government was intact, the real locus of power in ancient Rome was the family.
  • For a peaceful world that promotes international democracy, the locus of power and influence needs shifting.
  • Second, as a social institution the church quickly became a contending locus of power in the Roman Empire.
1.2 Genetics The position of a gene or mutation on a chromosome.
Example sentences
  • Genes at a locus that differ by mutations are known as alleles or haplotypes.
  • The very large pine genomes are highly repetitive, and microsatellite loci also occur as gene families.
  • The data included results of genomic typing at polymorphic loci at or near genes of the autoimmune inflammatory response.
2 Mathematics A curve or other figure formed by all the points satisfying a particular equation of the relation between coordinates, or by a point, line, or surface moving according to mathematically defined conditions.
Example sentences
  • The curve can be considered as the locus of a point P defined as follows.
  • The catenary is the locus of the focus of a parabola rolling along a straight line.
  • Where lines were not common to multiple loci, lines are labeled only to species.


Early 18th century: from Latin, 'place'.

Words that rhyme with locus

Archilochus, Cocos, crocus, focus, hocus, hocus-pocus

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lo·cus

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