microbiome

noun
mi·​cro·​bi·​ome | \ ˌmī-krō-ˈbī-ˌōm How to pronounce microbiome (audio) \

Definition of microbiome

1 : a community of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that inhabit a particular environment and especially the collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body Your body is home to about 100 trillion bacteria and other microbes, collectively known as your microbiome.— Carl Zimmer … what's arguably become the hottest area of medicine: microbiome research, an emerging field that's investigating how the bacteria that live in and on our bodies affect our health.— Sunny Sea Gold
2 : the collective genomes of microorganisms inhabiting a particular environment and especially the human body They form one community among the many that make up the human microbiome: the full genetic complement of bacteria and other organisms at home on your skin, gums, and teeth, in your genital tract, and especially in your gut.— Nathan Wolfe

Examples of microbiome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Gut microbes have a surprisingly powerful effect on these traits, says Fabio Lima, who studies the cow microbiome and milk production at the University of Illinois in Urbana. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Gut bacteria could be key to producing tastier cow’s milk," 3 July 2019 UBiome had been trying to build a business on testing patients’ microbiomes—the micro-organisms in the gut and other parts of the body—based on emerging science that suggests microbes can play a role in health. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "FBI Probes Whether Lab Startup uBiome Used Improper Billing Codes, Sought Unnecessary Tests," 24 June 2019 Biosensors could also potentially be used to heal the gut by neutralizing toxins or balancing the microbiome, says the paper’s senior author Timothy Lu, a biological and electrical engineer at MIT. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "State of Science: Swallowable Gut Sensors to Detect And Heal," 1 Jan. 2019 Just last week, about 250 biotech leaders from around the world came to Boston for a three-day conference to discuss the prospect of developing drugs that change a person’s microbiome. Jonathan Saltzman, BostonGlobe.com, "Bedford startup Kaleido Biosciences raises $101 million in funding round," 25 June 2018 Much like the microbiome in our own guts, insects contain a whole array of fungal species, says Barrett Klein, an entomologist at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse. Jennifer Lu, National Geographic, "How a parasitic fungus turns ants into 'zombies'," 18 Apr. 2019 Dietary factors that can lead to weight gain over time may also affect your gut microbiome. Beth Janes, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Probiotics, According to Experts," 11 May 2019 However, emerging research points to the presence of a bladder microbiome, or bacteria that normally live in harmony inside of this organ, Dr. Kielb says. Korin Miller, SELF, "Is It Sanitary to Pee in the Shower or Should You Stop Immediately?," 7 Feb. 2019 The human gut is packed with trillions of bacteria, which are known collectively as the microbiome. Markham Heid, Time, "You Asked: Is It Bad To Eat Foods That Give You Gas?," 18 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of microbiome

1952, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for microbiome

micro- + biome

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about microbiome

Statistics for microbiome

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for microbiome

The first known use of microbiome was in 1952

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for microbiome

microbiome

noun
mi·​cro·​bi·​ome | \ ˌmī-krō-ˈbī-ˌōm How to pronounce microbiome (audio) \

Medical Definition of microbiome

1 : a community of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that inhabit a particular environment and especially the collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body The intestinal microbiome consists of the microorganisms that inhabit the gut.— Clara Abraham et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, 19 Nov. 2009 Collectively known as the microbiome, this community may play a role in regulating one's risk of obesity, asthma and allergies.— Carrie Arnold, Scientific American, March 2012 The human oral microbiome comprises all microbial species in the oral cavity.— Naomi P. O'Grady, The Journal of the American Medical Association, 20 June 2012
2 : the collective genomes of microorganisms inhabiting a particular environment and especially the human body As part of a new citizen-science initiative called the American Gut project, the lab sequenced my microbiome—that is, the genes not of "me," exactly, but of the several hundred microbial species with whom I share this body.— Michael Pollan, The New York Times, 19 May 2013 Together, the genomes of these microbial symbionts (collectively defined as the microbiome) provide traits that humans did not need to evolve on their own.— Peter J. Turnbaugh et al., Nature, 18 Oct. 2007

Comments on microbiome

What made you want to look up microbiome? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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