Nucleic acids

nucleic acid

[noo-klee-ik, -kley-, nyoo-]
noun Biochemistry.
any of a group of long, linear macromolecules, either DNA or various types of RNA, that carry genetic information directing all cellular functions: composed of linked nucleotides.

Origin:
1890–95; nucle(us) + -ic; compare German Nucleïnsäure (1889)

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World English Dictionary
nucleic acid (njuːˈkliːɪk, -ˈkleɪ-)
 
n
biochem RNA See also DNA any of a group of complex compounds with a high molecular weight that are vital constituents of all living cells

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

nucleic acid
1892, translation of Ger. Nukleinsäure (1889), from Nuklein "substance obtained from a cell nucleus."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

nucleic acid nu·cle·ic acid (nōō-klē'ĭk, -klā'-, nyōō-)
n.
Any of a group of complex compounds found in all living cells and viruses, composed of purines, pyrimidines, carbohydrates, and phosphoric acid. Nucleic acids in the form of DNA and RNA control cellular function and heredity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
nucleic acid  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (n-klē'ĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of a group of very large polymeric nucleotides that constitute the genetic material of living cells and viruses and that code for the amino acid sequences of proteins. Nucleic acids consist of either one or two long chains of repeating units called nucleotides, which consist of a nitrogen base (a purine or pyrimidine) attached to a sugar phosphate. The two main nucleic acids are DNA and RNA. In DNA, the nitrogen bases along the length of one chain are linked to complementary bases in the other chain by hydrogen bonds, and both chains coil around each other in a double helix. Particular sequences of nucleotides constitute genes and encode instructions for sequences of amino acids when proteins are synthesized. In RNA, which is usually single-stranded, complementary bases within the single strand may pair with each other, forming structures other than a double helix. See more at DNA, RNA.

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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
nucleic acids [(nooh-klee-ik)]

Organic molecules found in the nuclei of cells. DNA and RNA, the best-known nucleic acids, govern heredity and the chemical processes in the cell.

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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