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chi·as·ma(kī-ăz′mə) also chi·asm (kī′ăz′əm)
n. pl. chi·as·ma·ta (-mə-tə) or chi·as·mas also chi·asms
1. Anatomy A crossing or intersection of two tracts, as of nerves or ligaments.
2. Genetics The point of contact between paired chromatids during meiosis, resulting in a cross-shaped configuration and representing the cytological manifestation of crossing over.
[Greek khīasma, cross-piece, from khīazein, to mark with an X, from khei, khī, chi (from the letter's shape).]
chi·as′mal, chi·as′mic, chi′as·mat′ic (-măt′ĭk) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.