bac·​te·​ri·​o·​phage | \ bak-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌfāj also -ˌfäzh How to pronounce bacteriophage (audio) \

Definition of bacteriophage

: a virus that infects bacteria

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Other Words from bacteriophage

bacteriophagy \ (ˌ)bak-​ˌtir-​ē-​ˈä-​fə-​jē How to pronounce bacteriophagy (audio) \ noun

Examples of bacteriophage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Necessary Scientists often turn to bacteria and the bacteriophage viruses that prey on them to learn about coevolution. Quanta Magazine, "Biodiversity Alters Strategies of Bacterial Evolution," 6 Jan. 2020 An autopsy later showed that the phage therapy had been working: the bacteriophages had reached their targets and were doing what they were supposed to do. Diane Shader Smith, STAT, "My daughter is gone but her legacy lives on through her writing and phage therapy," 13 Nov. 2019 Using a technique called phage display, each fragment was inserted into a bacteriophage, a type of virus that sticks to bacteria. Pam Belluck, New York Times, "What Causes a Mysterious Paralysis in Children? Researchers Find Viral Clues," 21 Oct. 2019 When that bacteriophage infects another host, the bit of bacterial DNA gets incorporated into the new host’s genome in a process called specialized transduction. Quanta Magazine, "‘Broadband’ Networks of Viruses May Help Bacteria Evolve Faster," 16 Oct. 2018 Traditional antibiotics kill broadly, so the group enlisted UCSD colleagues who study therapeutic uses of bacteriophages, or phages. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Toxic gut bacteria make alcohol-triggered liver disease more deadly," 13 Nov. 2019 These resemble the business end of bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Biotech notebook: Cancer discovery, bacterial syringes and organoids," 13 July 2019 This virus is a bacteriophage or phage, a group of viruses that kill bacteria. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Benign gut virus may be older than humanity, might be useful as therapy," 8 July 2019 The researchers, in the U.S. and the United Kingdom, saved the patient with the help of bacteria-destroying viruses known as bacteriophages that occur naturally and are the most populous organisms on the planet. Brianna Abbott, WSJ, "Genetically Engineered Viruses Treat Antibiotic-Resistant Infection," 8 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bacteriophage.' 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 bacteriophage

1917, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bacteriophage

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for bacteriophage

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The first known use of bacteriophage was in 1917

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bacteriophage.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for bacteriophage


bac·​te·​ri·​o·​phage | \ bak-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌfāj How to pronounce bacteriophage (audio) , -ˌfäzh How to pronounce bacteriophage (audio) \

Medical Definition of bacteriophage

: a virus that infects bacteria

called also phage

Other Words from bacteriophage

bacteriophagy \ (ˌ)bak-​ˌtir-​ē-​ˈäf-​ə-​jē How to pronounce bacteriophagy (audio) \ noun, plural bacteriophagies

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Comments on bacteriophage

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to insert between existing elements

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