Dictionary

E. coli

noun \ˌē-ˈkō-ˌlī\

: a kind of bacteria that is sometimes in food and water and that can make people sick

plural E. coli

Full Definition of E. COLI

:  an enterobacterium (Escherichia coli) that is used in public health as an indicator of fecal pollution (as of water or food) and in medicine and genetics as a research organism and that occurs in various strains that may live as harmless inhabitants of the human lower intestine or may produce a toxin causing intestinal illness

First Known Use of E. COLI

1926

E. coli

noun \ˌē-ˈkō-ˌlī\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural E. coli also E. colis

Medical Definition of E. COLI

:  a straight rod-shaped gram-negative bacterium (Escherichia coli of the family Enterobacteriaceae) that is used in public health as an indicator of fecal pollution (as of water or food) and in medicine and genetics as a research organism and that occurs in various strains that may live as harmless inhabitants of the human lower intestine or may produce a toxin causing intestinal illness <one million acid-resistant E. coli per gram of feces—John Schwartz> <this E. coli can survive…longer than all the other E. colis—Ed Geldreich>

Illustration of E. COLI

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: ecological subspeciesPrevious Word in the Dictionary: ecolAll Words Near: E. coli
May 29, 2015
bodacious Hear it
unmistakable, remarkable, or voluptuous
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears