A very tiny form of life — microbes include bacteria, fungi, and protozoan parasites — best visualized with a microscope. The word "microbe" did not enter English usage until 1881. It was put together from Greek roots "mikros," small + "bios," life = small (form of) life.
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Any very minute organism. As originated, the word was intended as a collective term for the large variety of microorganisms then known in the 19th century; modern usage has retained the original collective meaning but expanded it to include both microscopic and ultramicroscopic organisms (spirochetes, bacteria, rickettsiae, and viruses). These organisms are considered to form a biologically distinctive group, in that the genetic material is not surrounded by a nuclear membrane, and mitosis does not occur during replication. [Fr., fr. G. mikros, small, + bios, life]

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mi·crobe 'mī-.krōb n MICROORGANISM, GERM used esp. of pathogenic bacteria

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mi·crobe (miґkrōb) [micro- + Gr. bios life] microorganism. 2. sometimes restricted to microorganisms that cause disease.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MICROBE — Grâce à l’invention du microscope, vers la fin du XVIIe siècle, on découvrit l’existence d’êtres vivants de très petite taille, invisibles à l’œil nu. Sujets de curiosité pendant plus de cent cinquante ans, leur étude ne fut réellement abordée… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Microbe — Mi crobe, Microbion Mi*cro bi*on, n. [NL. microbion, fr. Gr. ? little + ? life.] (Biol.) A microscopic organism; a microorganism; particularly applied to bacteria and especially to pathogenic forms; as, the microbe of fowl cholera. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • microbe — (n.) popular name for a bacterium, 1878, from Fr. microbe, badly coined ... by Sédillot [Weekley] in 1878 from Gk. mikros small (see MICA (Cf. mica)) + bios life (see BIO (Cf. bio )). It is an incorrect use of bios; in Greek the word would mean… …   Etymology dictionary

  • microbe — microbe. = microorganism (см.). (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • microbe — *germ, bacterium, bacillus, virus …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • microbe — [n] bacteria bacillus, bacterium, bug*, crud, germ, microorganism, pathogen, plague, virus; concept 306 …   New thesaurus

  • microbe — ► NOUN ▪ a micro organism, especially a bacterium causing disease or fermentation. DERIVATIVES microbial adjective. ORIGIN from Greek mikros small + bios life …   English terms dictionary

  • microbe — [mī′krōb΄] n. [Fr < Gr mikro (see MICRO ) + bios, life (see BIO )] a microscopic organism; esp., any of the bacteria that cause disease; germ microbial adj. microbic …   English World dictionary

  • Microbe — Micro organisme Bactérie Escherichia coli grossie 10 000 fois au microscope électronique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • microbe — UK [ˈmaɪkrəʊb] / US [ˈmaɪˌkroʊb] noun [countable] Word forms microbe : singular microbe plural microbes biology a microorganism Derived word: microbial UK [maɪˈkrəʊbɪəl] / US [maɪˈkroʊbɪəl] adjective …   English dictionary

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