bac·​te·​ri·​al | \ bak-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce bacterial (audio) \

Definition of bacterial

: of, relating to, or caused by bacteria bacterial infection

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Other Words from bacterial

bacterially \ bak-​ˈtir-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce bacterially (audio) \ adverb

Examples of bacterial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What happens, Tierno explained, is that the ions break down the proteins that exist on the outer layer of a viral cell, bacterial cell or fungi cell, destroying it. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "EXCLUSIVE: Virgin Voyages announces 'Voyage Well' health plan for Scarlet Lady ship," 19 June 2020 The disease most associated with ticks is Lyme disease, a bacterial infection. Kaleb A. Brown, Detroit Free Press, "Mobile app takes aim at the bane of Michigan summers — ticks and Lyme disease," 17 June 2020 These small groups experienced parasites, bacterial infections and injuries while hunting wild animals and occasionally fighting with one another. Charlotte Roberts, The Conversation, "What the archaeological record reveals about epidemics throughout history – and the human response to them," 15 June 2020 These revealed an intriguing difference between the groups’ bacterial floras. The Economist, "Nasal probiotics The nose, it seems, is protected by bacterial guards," 13 June 2020 Any major infection, such as influenza or bacterial pneumonia, has the potential of triggering an inflammatory immune response in people. Anna Kuchment, Dallas News, "‘We need to adapt’: Baylor Scott & White Health’s medical director takes readers’ questions about COVID-19," 12 June 2020 The wave behavior seemed to arise from inter-bacterial communication, with the microbes responding to chemicals emitted by their compatriots. Sophia Chen, Wired, "These Bacteria Ate Their Way Through a Really Tricky Maze," 9 June 2020 From the bacterial composition of the microbes, researchers concluded that aerosols from distant land masses and human activities, such as pollution or soil emissions caused by land use change, were not traveling south and into the air. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, "Scientists say they have found the cleanest air on earth," 2 June 2020 Anywhere from hundreds to thousands of different bacterial types and viruses live in the human oral cavity, most of which are harmless. Paul Dawson, Scientific American, "Is Double-Dipping a Food Safety Problem or Just a Nasty Habit?," 25 Nov. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bacterial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bacterial

1869, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for bacterial

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The first known use of bacterial was in 1869

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Statistics for bacterial

Last Updated

22 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bacterial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for bacterial


bac·​te·​ri·​al | \ bak-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce bacterial (audio) \

Kids Definition of bacterial

: relating to or caused by bacteria a bacterial infection


bac·​te·​ri·​al | \ bak-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce bacterial (audio) \

Medical Definition of bacterial

: of, relating to, or caused by bacteria a bacterial chromosome bacterial infection bacterial endocarditis

Other Words from bacterial

bacterially \ -​ə-​lē How to pronounce bacterially (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on bacterial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bacterial

Spanish Central: Translation of bacterial

Nglish: Translation of bacterial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bacterial for Arabic Speakers

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