plural 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 see enterobacterium illustration

Examples of E. coli in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The water company blamed for discharging sewage into the Thames stressed that E. coli was a naturally occurring organism and likely to be present in floodwater. Billy Stockwell, CNN, 28 Mar. 2024 According to their data, the water near the sewage outflows in Ilkley contained between 32 and 43 times the amounts of E. coli bacteria acceptable for a recreational bathing site. Andrew Kersley, WIRED, 19 Mar. 2024 Heavy metals, toxic chemicals and bacteria including E. coli have been detected in the water, according to a San Diego State University report released last month. Lauren Fichten, CBS News, 15 Mar. 2024 Schindler said the hospital-grade technology can instantly detect, especially in hard to clean areas such as beneath fingernails and in and around jewelry and knuckles, gut biome molecules that can transmit norovirus, E. coli, salmonella, Hepatitis A, Listeria, and other common illnesses. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, 8 Mar. 2024 Aravind’s colleague Aaron Whiteley and his lab at University of Colorado and his lab equipped E. coli with NACHT domains and grew them in test tubes. Quanta Magazine, 6 Mar. 2024 For example, notifications must be issued within 24 hours if E. coli is present. Quinn Clark, Journal Sentinel, 19 Feb. 2024 Experts also say that even more basic research and resources are needed: better tests that can detect different types of E. coli, which makes up most UTIs, and other bacterial species. Theresa Gaffney, STAT, 1 Mar. 2024 However, the state's agriculture department alleges that his products have been connected to E. coli outbreaks in two other states. Anders Hagstrom, Fox News, 29 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'E. coli.' 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

1925, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of E. coli was in 1925

Dictionary Entries Near E. coli

ecol

E. coli

e-collar

Cite this Entry

“E. coli.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/E.%20coli. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

E. coli

noun
plural E. coli
: a bacterium in the shape of a short rod that may cause intestinal illness
Etymology

short for Escherichia coli, the taxonomic name in biology

Medical Definition

E. coli

noun
ˌē-ˈkō-ˌlī
plural E. coli also E. colis
: 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 fecesJohn Schwartz
this E. coli can survive … longer than all the other E. colisEd Geldreich
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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