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 echinococcus (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, 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

Learn More About echinococcus

Time Traveler for echinococcus

Time Traveler

The first known use of echinococcus was in 1839

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near echinococcus




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for echinococcus

Cite this Entry

“Echinococcus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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

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 echinococcus (audio) , -​ˈkäk-​(ˌ)(s)ē How to pronounce echinococcus (audio) \ : any tapeworm of the genus Echinococcus also : hydatid sense 1


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!