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bacteria

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noun bac·te·ria \bak-ˈtir-ē-ə\

Definition of bacteria

plural bacteria also bac·te·ri·as

  1. :  bacterium —not usually used technically



Usage Discussion of bacteria

Bacteria is regularly a plural in scientific and pedagogical use; in speech and in journalism it is also used as a singular, and it is sometimes pluralized as bacterias <caused by a bacteria borne by certain tiny ticks — Wall Street Journal> <more resistant to chlorine and elevated water temperatures than other bacterias — Allan Bruckheim, M.D., Chicago Tribune>. These journalistic uses are found in British as well as American sources.

Origin of bacteria

plural of bacterium


First Known Use: 1881

Other Microbiology Terms



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