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.
Origin and Etymology of microbe
International Scientific Vocabulary micr- + Greek bios life — more at quick
First Known Use: 1878
MICROBE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of microbe for English Language Learners
: an extremely small living thing that can only be seen with a microscope
MICROBE Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up microbe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).