complementary base pairing
Also found in: Medical.
complementary base pairing[‚käm·plə¦men·tə·rē ¦bās ′per·iŋ]
(cell and molecular biology)
The formation of weak hydrogen bonds between complementary nitrogenous bases (for example, guanine and cytosine) on opposite strands of a double-stranded nucleic acid molecule (such as deoxyribonucleic acid), contributing to the overall stability of the double-stranded structure.