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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But the listeriosis theory lacks that certain something. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 6 Dec. 2022 In the early 1990s, government regulations helped lower cases of foodborne listeriosis by requiring routine surveillance of food-processing sites. Claire Panosian Dunavan, Discover Magazine, 11 June 2018 And that’s good, because listeriosis is scary stuff. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 6 Dec. 2022 Invasive listeriosis is when the bacteria gets through your intestinal walls into your bloodstream and potentially to other parts of your body such as your central nervous system. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2022 While these are short-term symptoms for healthy individuals, listeriosis can be fatal to some categories of people. Chris Smith, BGR, 4 June 2022 Invasive listeriosis has fairly high mortality, with about 20 to 30% of those with such a condition not surviving. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2022 In certain cases, antibiotics are recommended to treat listeriosis. Maggie O'neill, SELF, 4 Oct. 2022 An estimated 1,600 Americans get listeriosis each year, and about 260 die, according to the CDC. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 3 Oct. 2022 See More

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

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 30 Jan. 2023.

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!

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?