cryptococcus

noun

cryp·​to·​coc·​cus ˌkrip-tə-ˈkä-kəs How to pronounce cryptococcus (audio)
plural cryptococci ˌkrip-tə-ˈkäk-ˌsī How to pronounce cryptococcus (audio)
-ˌsē,
-ˈkä-ˌkī,
-ˌkē
: any of a genus (Cryptococcus) of budding imperfect fungi that resemble yeasts and include a number of saprophytes and a few serious pathogens
cryptococcal adjective

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from New Latin, from crypto- crypto- + -coccus -coccus

Note: Taxon introduced by the German pharmacist and phycologist Friedrich Traugott Kützing (1807-93) in "Beitrag zur Kenntnis über die Entstehung und Metamorphose der niedern vegetabilischen Organismen," Linnaea, vol. 8 (1833), p. 339. Kützing appears to have so named what he characterized as "farblose Schleimkügelchen" ("colorless balls of slime") because of his difficulty in seeing them. As a valid description of a taxon Kützing's work has given way to an account by the French mycologist Jean Paul Vuillemin in "Les blastomycètes pathogènes," Revue générales des sciences pures et appliquées, vol. 12 (1901), pp. 732-51.

First Known Use

1835, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cryptococcus was in 1835

Dictionary Entries Near cryptococcus

Cite this Entry

“Cryptococcus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cryptococcus. Accessed 12 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

cryptococcus

noun
cryp·​to·​coc·​cus -ˈkäk-əs How to pronounce cryptococcus (audio)
1
capitalized : a genus of budding imperfect fungi that resemble yeasts and include a number of saprophytes and a few serious pathogens
2
plural cryptococci -ˈkäk-ˌ(s)ī, -(ˌ)(s)ē How to pronounce cryptococcus (audio) : any fungus of the genus Cryptococcus
cryptococcal adjective
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