allele

[uh-leel]
noun Genetics.
any of several forms of a gene, usually arising through mutation, that are responsible for hereditary variation.

Origin:
1930–35; < German Allel, apparently as shortening of German equivalents of allelomorph or allelomorphic gene; allelo- < Greek allēlo-, combining form of allḗlōn of/to one another, reciprocally

allelic [uh-lee-lik, uh-lel-ik] , adjective
allelism, noun
interallelic, adjective
nonallelic, adjective
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World English Dictionary
allele (əˈliːl)
 
n
See also multiple alleles Also called: allelomorph any of two or more variants of a gene that have the same relative position on homologous chromosomes and are responsible for alternative characteristics, such as smooth or wrinkled seeds in peas
 
[C20: from German Allel, shortened from allelomorph, from Greek allēl- one another + morphē form]
 
al'lelic
 
adj
 
al'lelism
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

allele
1931, from Ger. allel, abbrev. of allelomorph (1902), coined from Gk. allel- "one another" + morphe "form."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

allele al·lele (ə-lēl')
n.
One member of a pair or series of genes that occupies a specific position on a specific chromosome. Also called allelomorph.


al·le'lic (ə-lē'lĭk, ə-lěl'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
allele   (ə-lēl')  Pronunciation Key 
Any of the possible forms in which a gene for a specific trait can occur. In almost all animal cells, two alleles for each gene are inherited, one from each parent. Paired alleles (one on each of two paired chromosomes) that are the same are called homozygous, and those that are different are called heterozygous. In heterozygous pairings, one allele is usually dominant, and the other recessive. Complex traits such as height and longevity are usually caused by the interactions of numerous pairs of alleles, while simple traits such as eye color may be caused by just one pair.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
allele [(ul-leel)]

The sequence of nucleotides on a DNA molecule that constitutes the form of a gene at a specific spot or a chromosome. There can be several variations of this sequence, and each of these is called an allele. In the case of the gene for eye color, for example, one allele codes for blue eyes, whereas the other may code for brown eyes.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
They simply carry a double dose of an allele for whiteness.
The scientists discovered small changes in gene frequency, the relative
  percentage of an allele compared to nearby genes.
Inserting a resistant allele into susceptible macrophages made the cells more
  resistant to anthrax.
Each allele codes for a bitter taste receptor protein with a slightly different
  shape.
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