echi·​no·​coc·​cus | \ i-ˌkī-nə-ˈkä-kəs How to pronounce echinococcus (audio) \
plural echinococci\ i-​ˌkī-​nə-​ˈkäk-​ˌ(s)ī How to pronounce echinococci (audio) , -​ˈkäk-​(ˌ)(s)ē \

Definition of echinococcus

: any of a genus (Echinococcus) of tapeworms that alternate a minute adult living as a commensal in the intestine of carnivores with a hydatid larva invading tissues especially of the liver of cattle, sheep, swine, and humans and acting as a dangerous pathogen

Examples of echinococcus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But about half of patients that receive treatment for an echinococcus illness do so within a few years of being infected. Korin Miller, SELF, "This Woman’s ‘Electric Shock’ Leg Pain Was Caused By a Parasite in Her Back," 2 Aug. 2018

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

First Known Use of echinococcus

1839, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for echinococcus

New Latin, genus name

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The first known use of echinococcus was in 1839

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Cite this Entry

“Echinococcus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for echinococcus


echi·​no·​coc·​cus | \ -nə-ˈkäk-əs How to pronounce echinococcus (audio) \

Medical Definition of echinococcus

1 capitalized : a genus of tapeworms of the family Taeniidae (such as Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis) that alternate a minute adult living as a harmless commensal in the intestine of dogs and other carnivores with a hydatid larva invading tissues especially of the liver of mammals (such as cattle, sheep, swine, and humans), and acting as a serious often fatal pathogen
2 plural echinococci\ -​ˈkäk-​ˌ(s)ī How to pronounce echinococci (audio) , -​ˈkäk-​(ˌ)(s)ē How to pronounce echinococci (audio) \ : any tapeworm of the genus Echinococcus also : hydatid sense 1

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