Definition of prophase in English:



  • The first stage of cell division, before metaphase, during which the chromosomes become visible as paired chromatids and the nuclear envelope disappears. The first prophase of meiosis includes the reduction division.

    • ‘The events in this stage of the cell cycle leading to cell division are prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.’
    • ‘Recombination events are often visible as structures known as chiasmata that physically connect two homologous chromosomes during prophase I.’
    • ‘These questions asked the reader to describe and draw the cell when it was in the telophase and the late prophase stages of mitosis.’
    • ‘During meiotic prophase in females, chromosomes condense and pair to form bivalents.’
    • ‘For example, opposite arms may be juxtaposed during prophase of meiosis, providing opportunities for gene-conversion type events.’


Late 19th century: from pro- before + phase.