Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

E. coli

play
noun \ˌē-ˈkō-ˌlī\

Medical Definition of E. coli

plural

E. coli

also

E. colis

  1. :  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 marked especially by diarrhea <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


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up E. coli? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to depart quickly

Get Word of the Day daily email!