en·​tero·​coc·​cus ˌen-tə-rō-ˈkä-kəs How to pronounce enterococcus (audio)
plural enterococci ˌen-tə-rō-ˈkäk-ˌ(s)ī How to pronounce enterococcus (audio)
: any of a genus (Enterococcus) of gram-positive bacteria that resemble streptococci and were formerly classified with them
especially : a bacterium (E. faecalis) normally present in the intestine
enterococcal adjective

Examples of enterococcus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the city of Daphne and Mobile Baykeeper all test the local waters at various locations for enterococcus, a bacteria that is a common cause of infections, according to the National Institutes of Health. Margaret Kates | Mkates@al.com, al, 13 Sep. 2023 According to the Department of Public Health’s website, L.A. County ocean water is analyzed for three types of indicator bacteria: total coliform, enterococcus and E. coli. Melissa Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, 5 Oct. 2022 High levels of enterococcus bacteria were detected there on Aug. 23, according to the state Water Resources Control Board website. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Aug. 2022 The department tests regularly for the presence of enterococcus bacteria 16 beaches at the popular strip on the Gulf Coast. Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel, 12 Aug. 2022 But some enterococcus strains have evolved into a virulent form, called vancomycin-resistant enterococcus, or VRE, that affects more than 540,000 Americans every year. Wired, 9 Dec. 2019 Other bacteria that have been linked to purple urine include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Providencia stuartii, Escherichia coli, and enterococcus species, per the case report. Maggie O'Neill, Health.com, 30 Oct. 2019 July 8 testing by the Florida Department of Health in Bay County shows high levels of enterococcus bacteria at Panama City Beach Access No. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, 9 July 2019 Back at Blue Water’s offices in Remington, Volpitta mixed the harbor samples with a reagent used to reveal enterococcus bacteria and poured them into trays kind of like ice cube trays. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, 25 June 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'enterococcus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, genus name

First Known Use

1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of enterococcus was in 1899

Dictionary Entries Near enterococcus

Cite this Entry

“Enterococcus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enterococcus. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


en·​tero·​coc·​cus -ˈkäk-əs How to pronounce enterococcus (audio)
capitalized : a genus of gram-positive bacteria that resemble streptococci and were formerly classified with them
enterococci -ˈkäk-ˌ(s)ī How to pronounce enterococcus (audio) -ˈkäk-(ˌ)(s)ē How to pronounce enterococcus (audio) plural : any bacterium of the genus Enterococcus
especially : one (E. faecalis) normally present in the intestine
enterococcal adjective
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