germ theory

noun

: 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 Fortunately, for the bulk of Americans who heed germ theory, pasteurization appears completely effective at deactivating the virus in milk, according to thorough testing by the FDA. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 24 May 2024 The key drivers of this era were the steam engine, germ theory, electricity, and railroads. Kevin Drum, Foreign Affairs, 14 June 2018 At the time, however, germ theory was still in its infancy, and doctors did not yet have antibiotics at their disposal. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Feb. 2024 It’s named after inventor James Salisbury, a pioneer of germ theory and diets that helped combat digestive illnesses during the 19th century. Julia Levy, Southern Living, 17 Dec. 2023 See all Example Sentences for germ theory 

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

Word History

First Known Use

1863, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of germ theory was in 1863

Dictionary Entries Near germ theory

Cite this Entry

“Germ theory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/germ%20theory. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

germ theory

noun
: the theory that infectious and contagious disease results from the action of living things

Medical Definition

germ theory

noun
: 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

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