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germ

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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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

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 in a sentence

  1. the germ that causes tuberculosis

  2. the germ of an idea

  3. the germ layers of an embryo



Origin and Etymology 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 for Students

  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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