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Pronunciation: vek'tor, tor


  1. An invertebrate animal (tick, mite, mosquito, bloodsucking fly) capable of transmitting an infectious agent among vertebrates.
  2. Anything (velocity, mechanical force, electromotive force) having magnitude and direction; it can be represented by a straight line of appropriate length and direction.
  3. The net electrical axis of any ECG wave (usually QRS) the length of which is proportional to the magnitude of the electrical force, the direction of which gives the direction of the force and the tip of which represents the positive pole of the force.
  4. DNA such as a chromosome or plasmid that autonomously replicates in a cell into which another DNA segment may be inserted and be itself replicated, as in cloning.
  5. Recombinant DNA systems especially suited for production of large quantities of specific proteins in bacterial, yeast, insect, or mammalian cell systems.

Synonym(s): recombinant vector

[L. vector, a carrier]

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.