microbe

noun
mi·​crobe | \ ˈmī-ˌkrōb How to pronounce microbe (audio) \

Definition of microbe

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Other Words from microbe

microbial \ mī-​ˈkrō-​bē-​əl How to pronounce microbial (audio) \ or less commonly microbic \ mī-​ˈkrō-​bik How to pronounce microbic (audio) \ 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

That is why carcasses begin to smell bad soon after the animals die—microbes create noxious chemicals that discourage larger beings from stealing their food. Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Smithsonian, "How Do Fossils Form?," 8 June 2019 Since the microbes that plague hotels are largely invisible, my best advice is to limit direct surface contact and to regularly wash hands. Luzanne Otte, Town & Country, "Patricia Altschul's Very Specific Guide to Traveling in Style," 18 May 2019 As far back as 1934 researchers noticed that the specialized microbes in the guts of termites are also present in the guts of some cockroaches. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Termites Are Moving in With Cockroaches, Taxonomically," 5 Mar. 2018 Thanks to specimens supplied by the Harvard Herbarium, the interdisciplinary team was able to code the fragrance genes of the extinct flowers, fill in genome gaps with surviving plant DNA, and inject the code into yeast to fabricate scent microbes. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "You Can Now Smell a Flower That Went Extinct a Century Ago," 16 Apr. 2019 Worse yet, malicious actors might build disease-causing microbes with features strategically tailored to thwart existing health security measures. R. Daniel Bressler, Vox, "“Designer bugs”: how the next pandemic might come from a lab," 6 Dec. 2018 Their results showed that modern Mars could support liquid environments with enough dissolved O2 to support oxygen-breathing microbes across the planet. Deborah Netburn, The Seattle Times, "Mars could have enough molecular oxygen to support life," 26 Oct. 2018 In 2013, for example, analysis of a rock sample collected by the vehicle showed that ancient Mars could have supported living microbes. Fox News, "Massive Mars discovery: Organic molecules 'fundamental to our search for life' found by NASA rover," 2 Oct. 2018 There is not a kernel, there's not a microbe of truth to the story. Fox News, "Brit Hume: Op-ed may be disloyal, but is in no way treason," 6 Sep. 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

18 Jun 2019

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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 How to pronounce microbe (audio) \

Kids Definition of microbe

: a very tiny and often harmful living thing : microorganism

microbe

noun
mi·​crobe | \ ˈmī-ˌkrōb How to pronounce microbe (audio) \

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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