listeria

noun lis·te·ria \ li-ˈstir-ē-ə \
Updated on: 21 Nov 2017

Definition of listeria

plural listeria
:any of a genus (Listeria) of small, gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria that do not form spores and have a tendency to grow in chains and that include one (Listeria monocytogenes) that causes listeriosis
  • A common germ found in many foods from raw vegetables to hot dogs, listeria can cause a sometimes fatal disease called listeriosis when present in large quantities.
  • —Amy Barrett
; also :a disease or sickness caused by infection with this bacterium :listeriosis
  • Listeria symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
  • —Sierra Brown

Recent Examples of listeria from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of listeria

New Latin, from Listeria, from Joseph Lister


Medical Dictionary

listeria

noun lis·te·ria \ lis-ˈtir-ē-ə \

medical Definition of listeria

1 capitalized :a genus of small gram-positive flagellated rod-shaped bacteria that do not form spores, are aerobic or facultatively anaerobic, and have a tendency to grow in chains and that include one (L. monocytogenes) causing listeriosis
2 :any bacterium of the genus Listeria called also listerella

listerial

play \lis-ˈtir-ē-əl\ adjective

listeric

play \-ik\ adjective

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up listeria? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

ditzy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!