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

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 Smith was working on what some call the deadliest beings on Earth, bacteriophages. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The 2018 Nobels in Chemistry Made Evolution Work For Us," 3 Oct. 2018 Meet the phages Viruses that specialize in infecting bacteria are often called bacteriophages, or simply phages. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Using a virus to kill what antibiotics can’t," 18 July 2018 After word got out that Strathdee and her husband’s doctors had managed to save his life with a bacteriophage — literally, a bacteria-eater — her inbox filled with pleas for a repeat performance. Eric Boodman, STAT, "First phage therapy center in the U.S. signals growing acceptance," 21 June 2018 More importantly, the bacteriophages didn’t cause any of the common side-effects that antibiotics cause, like a weakened immune system or gastrointestinal problems. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "New Study Shows Antibiotics Could Be Replaced With Viruses," 11 June 2018 When Church and his colleagues replaced all 321 instances of one redundant codon with another in E. coli, the bacteria became resistant to the bacteriophage T7 virus. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Genome ‘writers’ set their first goal: recoding human cells to resist viruses," 1 May 2018 But to support that statement, Live Water links to a Wikipedia page about phage therapy, which uses viruses (not bacteria) to combat bacterial infections (phage or bacteriophage are terms for viruses that infect bacteria). Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Meet “raw” water—ludicrously priced unfiltered water with random bacteria," 3 Jan. 2018

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

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2 Aug 2019

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The first known use of bacteriophage was in 1917

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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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