lis·​te·​ri·​o·​sis li-ˌstir-ē-ˈō-səs How to pronounce listeriosis (audio)
plural listerioses li-ˌstir-ē-ˈō-ˌsēz How to pronounce listeriosis (audio)
: a serious encephalitic disease of a wide variety of animals that is caused by a bacterium (Listeria monocytogenes) and that in animals is often fatal but in humans is usually not fatal

Examples of listeriosis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Each year, about 1,600 people get sick and 260 die from listeriosis, the CDC says. John Tufts, The Courier-Journal, 12 Feb. 2024 Mild infections with listeriosis cause flu-like symptoms. Kerry E. Kaylegian, Discover Magazine, 23 May 2024 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium listeria monocytogenes. Gabe Hauari, USA TODAY, 6 May 2024 An estimated 1,600 Americans get listeriosis each year and about 260 die, according to the CDC. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 7 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for listeriosis 

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

Word History


New Latin, from Listeria, from Joseph Lister

First Known Use

1941, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of listeriosis was in 1941

Dictionary Entries Near listeriosis

Cite this Entry

“Listeriosis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


lis·​te·​ri·​o·​sis (ˌ)lis-ˌtir-ē-ˈō-səs How to pronounce listeriosis (audio)
variants also listerellosis
plural listerioses also listerelloses -ˌsēz How to pronounce listeriosis (audio)
: a serious disease of animals and humans that is caused by a bacterium of the genus Listeria (L. monocytogenes), that in animals causes severe encephalitis accompanied by disordered movements and is often fatal, that is contracted by humans especially from contaminated food (as processed meats or unpasteurized milk or cheese), that in otherwise healthy people typically takes the form of a mild flu-like illness or has no noticeable symptoms, that in neonates, the elderly, and the immunocompromised often causes serious sometimes fatal illness with symptoms including meningitis and sepsis, and that in pregnant women usually causes only mild illness in the mother but often results in miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth see circling disease

More from Merriam-Webster on listeriosis

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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