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The Collaborative International Dictionary

macromolecule \mac`ro*mol"e*cule\, n. (Chem., Biochem.) A very large molecule, especially a polymer having from hundreds to many thousands of atoms, such as DNA, RNA, protein, polysaccharide, polyethylene, polycarbonate, etc.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1886, from macro- + molecule. Apparently coined in "On Macro-molecules, with the Determinations of the Form of Some of Them," by Anglo-Irish physicist G. Johnstone Stoney (1826–1911). Originally of crystals. Meaning "molecule composed of many atoms" is from 1935, from German makromolekul (1922). Related: Macromolecular.


n. (context chemistry biochemistry English) A very large molecule, especially used in reference to large biological polymers (e.g. nucleic acids and proteins).


n. any very large complex molecule; found only in plants and animals [syn: supermolecule]


A macromolecule is a very large molecule, such as protein, commonly created by polymerization of smaller subunits ( monomers). They are typically composed of thousands of atoms or more. The most common macromolecules in biochemistry are biopolymers ( nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and polyphenols) and large non-polymeric molecules (such as lipids and macrocycles). Synthetic macromolecules include common plastics and synthetic fibres as well as experimental materials such as carbon nanotubes.

Usage examples of "macromolecule".

In short, I created a protein macromolecule that can be set on a definite course of development, as an alarm clock can be set.

The stone now formed one macromolecule, and my arms and legs were trapped.

They display lipopolysaccharide endotoxin in their walls, and these macromolecules are read by our tissues as the very worst of bad news.

A random resplicing of human genes with macromolecules scraped off deep-space meteorshe likes to call it stochastic creation.

In the seas, greater concentrations of macromolecules led to stepped-up activity all along the food chain.

The power of fashionable slogans - such as informational macromolecules -and the search for sensational results to feed to press and paymasters swept caution to the winds.

Virtually any biochemical process, certainly anything that means that neurons are becoming more active or are synthesizing macromolecules, is going to demand energy.

I was then engaged in tracing the exact mechanism by which macromolecules code for inherited traits.

And embedded in the tissues of his throat and nasal passages were gas-converting macromolecules to permit normal breathing.

We can crowd more functional capacity into artificially produced macromolecules than you find in living tissue, and use more concentrated energy sources.

While the Bauble could theoretically be subdivided into millions of individual macromolecules, it was in fact one super-macromolecule, since the linkages between its theoretical units were themselves molecular in nature.

And a variety of macromolecules have to be imbedded into our body tissues.

The sensors of his life-support system, having detected suitable air around him, automatically deactivated the gas-conversion macromolecules in the linings of his throat and nasal passages, and he went on external respiration.

The existence of identical macromolecules and immutable cellular ultrastructures, which had remained consistent throughout evolutionary history, could not be explained by the laws of classical chemistry.

Microscopic views of the crystalline structure of the main load-bearing members came to him, along with readings on the fields that artificially magnified the weak nuclear forces holding these huge macromolecules together.