Definition of germ
1a : a small mass of living substance capable of developing into an organism or one of its partsb : the embryo with the scutellum of a cereal grain that is usually separated from the starchy endosperm during milling
3 : microorganism; especially : a microorganism causing disease
Examples of germ in a Sentence
the germ that causes tuberculosis
the germ of an idea
the germ layers of an embryo
Recent Examples of germ from the Web
The germ is loaded with protein, B vitamins, several minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals (biologically active compounds in plants) and essential fatty acids.
Semmelweis didn't know anything about germs; Louis Pasteur and his famous fermentation experiments wouldn't come along for another decade.
And while Rihanna, of course, is probably impervious to such mundane concerns as germs and travel decorum, not every traveler is Rihanna.
The statement is the latest development in the debate about soaps, hand sanitizers and other items designed to address modern American families' fear of germs.
Jenkins knows the world is full of germs and infections.
And exposure to a rich array of indoor germs may actually be salutary, helping stave off a variety of illnesses.
All three of wheat's main components were ground together: the fiber-rich bran, the flavorful germ and the starchy endosperm.
Every time a tattoo gun pierces your skin, the needle is opening a wound -- and another pathway by which germs can enter your body.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'germ'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
GERM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of germ for English Language Learners
biology : a very small living thing that causes disease
: the origin or basis of something
: a very small amount of something
GERM Defined for Kids
Definition of germ for Students
1 : a source from which something develops the germ of an idea
2 : a microorganism (as a bacterium) that causes disease
3 : a bit of living matter (as a cell) capable of forming a new individual or one of its parts
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