germ theory


Definition of germ theory

: a theory in medicine: infections, contagious diseases, and various other conditions result from the action of microorganisms

Examples of germ theory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Subsequent discoveries, including germ theory, fed into one or the other camp until the turn of the century, and the work of Charles Chapin, an American epidemiologist. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, 26 Aug. 2022 Rogers explained how the germ theory of disease – discovered and popularized between 1850 and 1920 – helped scientists categorize and understand different diseases. Valerie Pavilonis, USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2022 Unlike midwives, doctors would sometimes handle autopsies before deliveries, and not wash their hands in between, transferring germs (although at the time germ theory was yet to be developed) onto the birthing mother. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, 26 Jan. 2022 Ivan Ortiz/Safdie Architects Just as medical care has evolved from bloodletting to germ theory, the medical spaces patients inhabit have transformed too. Sara Harrison, Wired, 5 Jan. 2022 The move ended the outbreak, and the investigation became one of the earliest studies to support the germ theory of disease. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, 8 Aug. 2021 The fact that Mills survived his battlefield wounds in an era before germ theory is matched by the miracle that the shirt survived the next century and a half. Star Tribune, 3 July 2021 Being extremely online during months of quarantine has pushed some into becoming anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, or even to deny the very existence of the virus - some have even rejected germ theory entirely. Dani Di Placido, Forbes, 16 June 2021 But germ theory did not immediately do away with the importance of fresh air. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 22 Feb. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of germ theory

1863, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of germ theory was in 1863

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Germ theory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for germ theory

germ theory


Medical Definition of germ theory

: a theory in medicine: infections, contagious diseases, and various other conditions (as suppurative lesions) result from the action of microorganisms

More from Merriam-Webster on germ theory Encyclopedia article about germ theory

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