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

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 One potential reason: Alcohol weakens our immune systems, making us more susceptible to inflammation, a driving force behind cancer, as well as infections and the integrity of the microbiome in our digestive tract. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "What too much alcohol can do to your health," 13 Apr. 2018 The eczema study is the latest in a flood of research in the past several years on the skin microbiome—the microscopic ecosystem containing trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms that live on our skin—showing how... Susan Kitchens, WSJ, "Bacteria May Offer New Hope for Treating Skin Disorders," 5 Feb. 2019 Scientists in Spain have monitored this airborne microbiome by taking rain and snow samples every two weeks for seven years at a site in the central Pyrenees. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Ahh, summer—ramlibacter season," 14 Nov. 2018 But the sheer individuality of our microbiomes also presents a challenge. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Medieval dental plaque sheds light on how our microbiomes have changed," 25 Nov. 2018 But the majority of proteins—between 85 and 95 percent—had been produced by bacteria from the microbiome. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Medieval dental plaque sheds light on how our microbiomes have changed," 25 Nov. 2018 The samples were then run through a DNA sequencer to reveal the airborne microbiome. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Ahh, summer—ramlibacter season," 14 Nov. 2018 Stewarts sees plants not only as something that can improve that microbiome, but could detect future problems. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Genetically Modified Houseplants Could Help Save Us From Smart Home Hell," 23 July 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.

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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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16 Mar 2019

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The first known use of microbiome was in 1952

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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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