Definition of conjugation in English:



  • 1Grammar
    The variation of the form of a verb in an inflected language such as Latin, by which are identified the voice, mood, tense, number, and person.

    • ‘It almost makes me wish for some sort of religion, so I could share that sense of wordy ecstasy and profundity in every conjugation and infinitive.’
    • ‘To this day, if you ask me about me about verb conjugation or tenses, I can only tell you what it is in French.’
    • ‘Some languages have a grammatical structure in which the meaning or conjugation of a word changes depending on who's using it and who the audience is.’
    • ‘Luckily for us, there is also no verb conjugation.’
    • ‘A convenient summary of Latin declension and conjugation is available on-line here.’
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The class in which a verb is put according to the manner of this variation.
      ‘a past participle of the first conjugation’
      • ‘Noting this ‘a’ should help you to distinguish verbs of the first conjugation from those of the second, third, or fourth conjugations.’
      • ‘These are of the first Conjugation, and signify, that the Action which they express is done only in a small Degree.’
      • ‘Do not worry if you cannot tell a second from a third conjugation verb: the important differences for you are between the first conjugation, the fourth conjugation, and the second and third conjugations taken together as a unit.’
  • 2Biology
    The temporary union of two bacteria or unicellular organisms for the exchange of genetic material.

    • ‘The new genes can quickly spread through an E. coli population through a process called conjugation, whereby bacteria exchange DNA directly.’
    • ‘Recombination can occur between exogenous DNA introduced into bacteria by conjugation, phage transduction, or DNA transformation and the bacterial genome.’
    • ‘Some are encoded in bacterial plasmids and mediate bacterial conjugation, or, in the case of Agrobacterium tumefaciens, T-DNA transport into plant cells.’
    • ‘However, much antibiotic resistance seems to be acquired by the transfer of plasmids from other species of bacteria via conjugation, which of course does not explain the ultimate origin of the information.’
    • ‘Paramecium usually exchanges genetic material by a process of conjugation, when two cells fuse together.’
    1. 2.1 The fusion of two gametes, especially when they are of a similar size.
      • ‘After conjugation, chromosomes in the transcriptionally active macronucleus develop by fragmentation, elimination, and amplification of germ line chromosomes.’
      • ‘This is illustrated by the fact that a considerable number of genes are required specifically for both conjugation and meiosis.’
      • ‘Therefore, it is only following new MAC development late in conjugation that the previously silent MIC genomes from the mated cells are brought into expression.’
      • ‘Failure of mating pairs to mix cytoplasms during conjugation is diagnostic of a complete block in cell fusion.’
      • ‘Starvation induces expression of the ste 11 gene that encodes a key transcription factor, which, in turn, upregulates transcription of several genes involved in conjugation, meiosis, and sporulation.’
    2. 2.2Biochemistry The combination of two substances.
      ‘toxic compounds eliminated from the body by conjugation with glutathione’
      • ‘The conjugation of polysaccharides with immunogenic proteins allows to overcome this problem providing an efficient immunological response also in infants.’
      • ‘They act in concert with other enzymes to detoxify xenobiotics through conjugation with glutathione to increase water solubility.’
      • ‘Glutathione conjugation is also the primary mechanism of eliminating electrophilic xenobiotics (some of which are carcinogens) in the liver.’
      • ‘In the liver, to which is transported in the plasma bound to albumin, bilirubin is solubilized by conjugation to glucuronate.’
      • ‘The former is expected to be smaller than in the isolated protein clue to the loss of free lysines upon conjugation, and possibly to a reduced water accessibility to the protein surface.’
    3. 2.3Chemistry The sharing of electron density between nearby multiple bonds in a molecule.
      • ‘When eight double bonds are in conjugation, the molecule absorbs visible light and is colored.’
      • ‘This compound has similar bond conjugation, solvent behavior, and steric hindrance to all-trans retinal.’
      • ‘They are purified cellfree hemoglobins, where the globin portion of the molecule has been modified chemically by conjugation, cross-linking or polymerizing.’
      • ‘If the ketone side group of the dye is protonated, there will be a shift in the conjugation of the double bonds.’
      • ‘But the other two carbon atoms are also double-bonded to each other, which results in conjugation of the electron density in the bonds.’
    4. 2.4Mathematics The solution of a problem by transforming it into an equivalent problem of a different form, solving this, and then reversing the transformation.
      • ‘This latest mathematical conjugation comes from a pair of British researchers who interviewed 1000 people to draw up their formula.’


Late Middle English (in conjugation (sense 1)): from Latin conjugatio(n-), from conjugare ‘join together’ (see conjugate).