Cell lacking a discrete nucleus and other special subcellular compartments. Bacteria and viruses are prokaryotes. Humans are not prokaryotes, but rather eukaryotes.
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A member of the superkingdom Prokaryotae; an organismic unit consisting of a single and presumably primitive moneran cell, or a precellular organism, which lacks a nuclear membrane, paired organized chromosomes, a mitotic mechanism for cell division, microtubules, and mitochondria. SEE ALSO: Prokaryotae, Monera, eukaryote. SYN: procaryote.

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pro·kary·ote also pro·cary·ote (')prō-'kar-ē-.ōt n any of the typically unicellular microorganisms that lack a distinct nucleus and membrane-bound organelles and that are classified as a kingdom (Prokaryotae syn. Monera) or into two domains (Bacteria and Archaea) compare EUKARYOTE
pro·kary·ot·ic also pro·cary·ot·ic -.kar-ē-'ät-ik adj

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pro·kary·ote (pro-karґe-ōt) [pro- + Gr. karyon nut, kernel] any of a group of cellular organisms that lack a true nucleus and nuclear membrane and have nuclear material consisting of a single double-stranded DNA molecule not associated with basic proteins. They lack a cytoskeleton, the cytoplasm is immobile, and organelles are rare. Most have a true cell wall, and all reproduce by cell fission. Organisms are predominantly unicellular but may have filamentous, mycelial, or colonial forms. Prokaryotes are classified into two genetically distinct domains, the Archaea and the Bacteria. Cf. eukaryote. prokaryotic adj

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • prokaryote — 1925, from Fr. procaryote, from Gk. pro (see PRO (Cf. pro )) + karyon “nut, kernel.” …   Etymology dictionary

  • prokaryote — [prō kar′ē ōt΄] n. [< Gr pro , before + karyōtis: see EUKARYOTE] an organism lacking a true nucleus: in some systems of biological classification, any of a superkingdom (Prokaryotae) of organisms, including the viruses and monerans: cf.… …   English World dictionary

  • Prokaryote — The prokaryotes (pronEng|proʊˈkærioʊts; singular prokaryote IPA|/proʊˈkæriət/) are a group of organisms that lack a cell nucleus (= karyon), or any other membrane bound organelles. They differ from the eukaryotes, which have a cell nucleus. Most… …   Wikipedia

  • prokaryote — also procaryote noun Etymology: New Latin Prokaryotes, proposed subdivision of protists, from 1pro + kary + otes, plural noun suffix, from Greek ōtos more at otic Date: 1963 any of the typically unicellular microorganisms that lack a distinct… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • prokaryote — prokaryotic /proh kar ee ot ik/, adj. /proh kar ee oht , ee euht/, n. any cellular organism that has no nuclear membrane, no organelles in the cytoplasm except ribosomes, and has its genetic material in the form of single continuous strands… …   Universalium

  • prokaryote — noun a) an organism characterized by the absence of a nuclear membrane and by DNA that is not organized into chromosomes. b) in the of biological taxonomy, an organism of the kingdom (now superseded) …   Wiktionary

  • prokaryote —    A unicellular organism lacking a membranebound nucleus, for example, bacteria. Prokaryotes do not undergo mitosis …   Forensic science glossary

  • prokaryote — n. unicellular organism that does not have a nuclear membrane or cell organelles (such as bacteria and blue green algae) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • prokaryote — [prəʊ karɪəʊt, ɒt] (also procaryote) noun Biology a single celled organism with neither a distinct nucleus with a membrane nor other specialized structures (i.e. a bacterium or archaean). Compare with eukaryote. Derivatives prokaryotic adjective… …   English new terms dictionary

  • prokaryote — pro·kary·ote …   English syllables

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