axenic

adjective
axe·​nic | \ (ˌ)ā-ˈze-nik How to pronounce axenic (audio) , -ˈzē- How to pronounce axenic (audio) \

Definition of axenic

: free from other living organisms

Other Words from axenic

axenically \ (ˌ)ā-​ˈze-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce axenic (audio) , -​ˈzē-​ \ adverb

First Known Use of axenic

1942, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for axenic

Greek a- a- entry 2 + xénos "foreigner, guest" + -ic entry 1 — more at xen-

Note: The term was introduced by the American biologist James A. Baker (1910-75) and his Rockefeller Institute co-worker M.S. Ferguson in the article "Growth of Platyfish (Platypoecilus maculatus) Free from Bacteria and Other Microörganisms," Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, vol. 51 (October, 1942), pp. 116-19. The authors thus etymologize the word in a footnote: "Axenic is derived from two Greek words: A—meaning without or free from, and Xenos—denoting a stranger or foreign life. An axenic organism, as here defined, is a species free from any life apart from that produced by its own protoplasm …The writers are greatly indebted to Professor A.C. Johnson, Department of Classics, Princeton University, for suggesting and defining the term axenic."

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About axenic

Dictionary Entries Near axenic

axeman

axenic

axes

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for axenic

Last Updated

4 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Axenic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/axenic. Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for axenic

axenic

adjective
axe·​nic | \ (ˈ)ā-ˈzen-ik How to pronounce axenic (audio) , -ˈzēn- How to pronounce axenic (audio) \

Medical Definition of axenic

: free from other living organisms an axenic culture of bacteria

Other Words from axenic

axenically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce axenic (audio) \ adverb

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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