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germ

play
noun \ˈjərm\

Simple Definition of germ

  • biology : a very small living thing that causes disease

  • : the origin or basis of something

  • : a very small amount of something

Full Definition of germ

  1. 1 a :  a small mass of living substance capable of developing into an organism or one of its parts b :  the embryo with the scutellum of a cereal grain that is usually separated from the starchy endosperm during milling

  2. 2 :  something that initiates development or serves as an origin :  rudiments, beginning

  3. 3 :  microorganism; especially :  a microorganism causing disease

Examples of germ

  1. the germ that causes tuberculosis

  2. the germ of an idea

  3. the germ layers of an embryo



Origin of germ

French germe, from Latin germin-, germen, from gignere to beget — more at kin


First Known Use: 1644

Rhymes with germ


GERM Defined for Kids

germ

play
noun \ˈjərm\

Definition of germ

  1. 1 :  a source from which something develops <the germ of an idea>

  2. 2 :  a microorganism (as a bacterium) that causes disease

  3. 3 :  a bit of living matter (as a cell) capable of forming a new individual or one of its parts




Medical Dictionary

germ

play
noun \ˈjərm\

Medical Definition of germ

  1. 1:  a small mass of living substance capable of developing into an organism or one of its parts

  2. 2:  microorganism; especially :  a microorganism causing disease





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