variants or less commonly C-diff
plural C. diff also C-diff
: a rod-shaped, spore-producing, gram-positive bacterial clostridium (Clostridium difficile) that occurs widely in soil and water and sometimes in human and animal intestines and that may produce a toxin causing intestinal illness (such as diarrhea) especially in those receiving antibiotic therapy
Many healthy people harbor a few C. diff among the millions of bacteria in the colon. When C. diff hangs out in the form of inert spores, it's harmless. But if antibiotic therapy knocks off the normal bacteria, C. diff springs to life, producing two toxins that attack the colon.Harvey B. Simon

Examples of C. diff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The first was approved almost exactly one year ago to treat a bowel disorder called Clostridium difficile infections, more commonly known as C. diff. Allison Deangelis, STAT, 22 Nov. 2023 Research from 2018 associated trehalose with a rise in C. diff infections but newer research disputed this claim. Stephanie Brown, Verywell Health, 21 Apr. 2023 Certain drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are on its list of urgent superbugs, as is Clostridioides difficile, or C. diff, which can cause life-threatening diarrhea and colon inflammation. Caroline Hopkins, NBC News, 29 Mar. 2023 Federal regulators approved the first fecal bacteria therapy for fighting C. diff. Ryan Cross, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Jan. 2023 Here's one example: There's a bad infection called C. diff that involves the gastrointestinal tract. Stephanie Emma Pfeffer, Peoplemag, 3 Jan. 2023 Probiotics have also not been found to prevent C. diff. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 26 Dec. 2022 Christian John Lillis, the executive director of the C. diff advocacy organization the Peggy Lillis Foundation. Kate Sheridan and Allison Deangelis, STAT, 30 Nov. 2022 Additionally, the study found that antibiotics increase the risk of C. diff, a bacterial infection that can be life-threatening; allergic reactions; and skin rashes. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 22 Nov. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'C. diff.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1990, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of C. diff was in 1990

Dictionary Entries Near C. diff

CD-I

C. diff

cdl

Cite this Entry

“C. diff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/C.%20diff. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

C. diff

noun
variants also C-diff
plural C. diff also C-diff
: a rod-shaped, spore-producing, gram-positive bacterium (Clostridium difficile) that occurs widely in soil and water and sometimes in human and animal intestines and that may produce a toxin causing intestinal illness (such as diarrhea) especially in those receiving antibiotic therapy
Many healthy people harbor a few C. diff among the millions of bacteria in the colon.Harvey B. Simon
Anyone admitted to the hospital with diarrhea and a recent history of using antibiotics or other drugs linked to C. diff infections is isolated immediately and tested for the bacteria.Peter Eisler
C-diff, as it's called, is a rising problem across North America and in parts of Europe.Ben Harder
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!