Definition of chromatin in English:



mass nounBiology
  • The material of which the chromosomes of organisms other than bacteria (i.e. eukaryotes) are composed, consisting of protein, RNA, and DNA.

    • ‘Indeed the Polycomb protein has been detected in inactive chromatin isolated from the bithorax complex.’
    • ‘Under normal conditions equal amounts of the four core histones are incorporated into chromatin.’
    • ‘The eukaryotic chromatin must be highly organized to fit into the small volume of the nucleus.’
    • ‘The structure of chromatin is intimately linked to the function of the eukaryotic genome.’
    • ‘The de novo assembly of silent chromatin requires passage through the S phase of the cell cycle.’


Late 19th century: coined in German from Greek khrōma, khrōmat- ‘colour’.