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 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 Before Pasteur’s germ theory was published, in 1861, hospitals were often unsanitary, as likely to cause infection as to cure it. Chris Pomorski, The New Yorker, 31 May 2021 There wasn’t an understanding of contagion or germ theory. The Atlantic, 26 Mar. 2021 The framework dates back to the embrace of germ theory in the late 19th century. Meghan O'rourke, The Atlantic, 8 Mar. 2021 By the late 19th century, scientists were developing the beginnings of germ theory. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 22 Feb. 2021 At this time the germ theory of disease was still controversial, and scientists were 20 years away from identifying viruses. Ernest Freeberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Dec. 2020

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.

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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

6 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Germ theory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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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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