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 What’s compromising the skin microbiome in modern life? Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Why You Need to Start Paying Attention to Your Skin Microbiome—Especially Now," 4 Mar. 2021 The bacteria in your gut microbiome can be linked to conditions like inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), weight loss or gain, heart health, and risk of diabetes. Ola Faleti, chicagotribune.com, "Is black tea good for you?," 18 Apr. 2021 In fact, collectively, these microorganisms make up our skin microbiome, which is an important part of our immune system and helps protect against potentially harmful pathogens. Melissa Matthews, SELF, "Here’s How Often Experts Say You Should Change Your Washcloth," 13 Apr. 2021 That finding paves the way for development of disease-specific interventions to shape the microbiome, Ward adds. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Food supplements that alter gut bacteria could ‘cure’ malnutrition," 7 Apr. 2021 Maybe a microbiome that's healthy for a 20-year-old is not at all healthy for an 80-year-old. Anahad O’connor New York Times, Star Tribune, "A changing gut microbiome may predict how well you age," 1 Apr. 2021 But Culler is hoping the pilot study, which is being done in Southern California, will show an early, promising link to the microbiome. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Planning to get a COVID vaccine? This San Diego biotech wants your poop," 24 Mar. 2021 The microbiome is a collection of trillions of bacteria that resides in your intestines that must stay balanced to keep your entire body healthy. Serena Poon, Forbes, "Leveraging Mindful Practices To Maximize Productivity," 18 Mar. 2021 Scientists are researching potential solutions for restoring the microbiome and harnessing its benefits. Sarah Toy, WSJ, "Modern Life Is Messing With Our Microbiomes, but Science Is Fighting Back," 12 Mar. 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of microbiome was in 1952

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Statistics for microbiome

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Microbiome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/microbiome. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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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