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 Researchers are still trying to understand the role of beta-amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease, but are also exploring new potential treatment targets ranging from brain inflammation to the gut microbiome. Maria C. Carrillo, Time, "We Will Find a Breakthrough for Alzheimer's Disease," 24 Oct. 2019 But certain habits can decimate those delicate good bacteria, throwing your microbiome out of balance and allowing the bad bacteria to take over. Deanna Pai, CNN Underscored, "How probiotics can help prevent acne, eczema and skin irritation," 22 Oct. 2019 There is compelling data that the microbes in our intestines, part of our microbiome, may influence our food cravings and the tendency to overeat. Bill Sullivan, The Conversation, "Why Bill Maher is wrong about fat-shaming," 17 Sep. 2019 And these festive foods can affect your microbiome. Stephanie Dolgoff, Good Housekeeping, "5 Facts You Need to Know About Holiday Weight Gain," 16 Sep. 2019 The real answer, the data shows, might relate to the microbiome (the microorganisms in the gut). Nicole Blackwood, chicagotribune.com, "Slow down the calorie counting: Personalized diets could be the future of healthy eating, study suggests," 12 June 2019 But as the team showed in their paper, the two gut microbiomes did have one ingredient in common that could help with digesting blood: high levels of Peptostreptococcaceae, a group of bacteria thought to help process sodium and iron. Joshua Sokol, New York Times, "The Vampire Birds of the Galápagos Have Fascinating Inner Lives," 8 June 2019 Even an animal's microbiome may be involved, Ward said. Karin Brulliard, chicagotribune.com, "Cinder-Block is the reluctant poster cat for a pet obesity epidemic, vets say," 1 Nov. 2019 Scott's overall stomach microbiome also changed over the duration of the mission, though this, too, could have been a dietary factor. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "This Is Your Brain on Space," 23 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of microbiome

1952, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for microbiome

micro- + biome

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Time Traveler for microbiome

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The first known use of microbiome was in 1952

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Statistics for microbiome

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Microbiome.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/microbiome. Accessed 16 December 2019.

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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

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