microbe

noun
mi·​crobe | \ ˈmī-ˌkrōb \

Definition of microbe

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Other Words from microbe

microbial \ mī-​ˈkrō-​bē-​əl \ or less commonly microbic \ -​bik \ adjective

Did You Know?

A hint of the Greek word bios, meaning "life", can be seen in microbe. Microbes, or microorganisms, include bacteria, protozoa, fungi, algae, amoebas, and slime molds. Many people think of microbes as simply the causes of disease, but every human is actually the host to billions of microbes, and most of them are essential to our life. Much research is now going into possible microbial sources of future energy; algae looks particularly promising, as do certain newly discovered or created microbes that can produce cellulose, to be turned into ethanol and other biofuels.

Examples of microbe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Your gut isn’t the only place that harbors a community of microbes. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Ahh, summer—ramlibacter season," 14 Nov. 2018 Dantas set out to learn how some soil microbes not only thwart the toxin, but also thrive on it. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Bacteria That Eat Drugs Could Help Solve the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis," 8 Nov. 2018 Experts used to think nearly all nitrogen in soil came directly from the atmosphere, sequestered by microbes or dissolved in rain. Doug Main, Scientific American, "Mystery of Earth's Missing Nitrogen Solved," 29 May 2018 Possible roles for microbes and viruses in Alzheimer's disease have been suggested and studied for decades, but previous research has not explained how they may be connected. Melinda Wenner Moyer, Scientific American, "Harder Evidence Builds that Viruses Play a Role in Alzheimer’s," 21 June 2018 Not only will your starter plants take up the nutrients, the microbes in the potting soil will as well. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "It’s just about time for Alaska gardeners to put plants in the ground. Here’s what to do now to get ready.," 25 May 2018 For example, what is the full spectrum of microbes that cause human disease? R. Daniel Bressler, Vox, "“Designer bugs”: how the next pandemic might come from a lab," 6 Dec. 2018 In the dishes filled with antibiotic, however, most of the microbes were having a picnic. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Bacteria That Eat Drugs Could Help Solve the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis," 8 Nov. 2018 But over the last few decades, biologists have found all manner of hardy microbes here on Earth capable of tolerating similarly extreme conditions. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Life on Venus? Why It's Not an Absurd Thought," 16 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of microbe

1878, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for microbe

International Scientific Vocabulary micr- + Greek bios life — more at quick entry 1

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Statistics for microbe

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for microbe

The first known use of microbe was in 1878

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More Definitions for microbe

microbe

noun

English Language Learners Definition of microbe

: an extremely small living thing that can only be seen with a microscope

microbe

noun
mi·​crobe | \ ˈmī-ˌkrōb \

Kids Definition of microbe

: a very tiny and often harmful living thing : microorganism

microbe

noun
mi·​crobe | \ ˈmī-ˌkrōb \

Medical Definition of microbe

: microorganism, germ used especially of pathogenic bacteria

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More from Merriam-Webster on microbe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with microbe

Spanish Central: Translation of microbe

Nglish: Translation of microbe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of microbe for Arabic Speakers

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