clos·​trid·​i·​um | \ klä-ˈstri-dē-əm How to pronounce clostridium (audio) \
plural clostridia\ klä-​ˈstri-​dē-​ə How to pronounce clostridium (audio) \

Definition of clostridium

: any of a genus (Clostridium) of spore-forming mostly anaerobic soil or intestinal bacteria — see botulinum, c. diff, gas gangrene, tetanus

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from clostridium

clostridial \ klä-​ˈstri-​dē-​əl How to pronounce clostridium (audio) \ adjective

Examples of clostridium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That count did not include deaths and illnesses from a nasty bug called clostridium difficile, because the germ still is cowed by the drugs used to treat it., 14 Nov. 2019 Streptococcus A is the bacteria that causes most cases of nectrotizing fasciitis, but Shamoon noted that other types of bacteria, including staph, clostridium, E.coli, and pseudomonas, also can lead to the infection. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, 4 July 2019 She was also diagnosed with clostridium difficile — also known as C.diff — infection, which causes inflammation in the colon. Jessica Seaman, The Denver Post, 16 June 2019 All three have required intensive care treatment with an anti-toxin that counteracts the effects of a neurotoxin produced by clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that causes wound botulism. Paul Sisson,, 10 Apr. 2018 Specifically, scientists recovered and cultured clostridium difficile, demonstrating that the exact same bug circulating in human outbreaks is also found in mice. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, 17 Apr. 2018 So and So's, Sunday's event unfolded as a single version of Margot closely resembling the 2014 edition that shut down because of Edwards' health issues related to a diagnosis of C. Diff, or clostridium difficile colitis. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, 1 Jan. 2018 This can prevent infections such as clostridium difficile. Paul Sisson,, 3 Feb. 2018 Edwards dissolved the Margot & the Nuclear So & So's name in 2014, a year in which he was diagnosed with C. Diff, or clostridium difficile colitis. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, 11 Dec. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of clostridium

1884, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for clostridium

New Latin, genus name, from Greek klōstēr spindle, from klōthein to spin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About clostridium

Time Traveler for clostridium

Time Traveler

The first known use of clostridium was in 1884

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near clostridium




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for clostridium

Cite this Entry

“Clostridium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for clostridium


clos·​trid·​i·​um | \ kläs-ˈtrid-ē-əm How to pronounce clostridium (audio) \

Medical Definition of clostridium

1 capitalized : a genus of saprophytic rod-shaped or spindle-shaped usually gram-positive bacteria (family Clostridiaceae) that are anaerobic or require very little free oxygen and are nearly cosmopolitan in soil, water, sewage, and animal and human intestines, that are very active biochemically comprising numerous fermenters of carbohydrates with vigorous production of acid and gas, many nitrogen-fixers, and others which rapidly putrefy proteins, and that include important pathogens — see blackleg, botulism, c. diff, gas gangrene, tetanus bacillus
2 plural clostridia\ -​ē-​ə How to pronounce clostridium (audio) \
a : any bacterium of the genus Clostridium
b : a spindle-shaped or ovoid bacterial cell especially : one swollen at the center by an endospore

Other Words from clostridium

clostridial \ -​ē-​əl How to pronounce clostridium (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on clostridium Encyclopedia article about clostridium


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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