Definition of centromere in English:



  • The region of a chromosome to which the microtubules of the spindle attach, via the kinetochore, during cell division.

    • ‘In fact, we did not find any informative marker in the three chromosomal divisions around the centromere of this chromosome.’
    • ‘We conclude that chromosomes with damaged centromeres fail to correctly attach to the spindle, thus producing MN and monosomy.’
    • ‘We observed an accumulation of cDNA loci near the centromere for seven chromosomes.’
    • ‘The presence of a kinetochore spot indicates the centromere region of each chromosome.’
    • ‘The pertinent variable in this form of meiotic drive is the presence of differing numbers of centromeres on paired homologous chromosomes.’


Early 20th century (originally denoting a region within the oocyst of a malaria parasite): from Latin centrum (see centre) + Greek meros ‘part’. The current sense dates from the 1930s.