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 Scientists emphasize that Phylagen would also need to account for how a location’s microbiome changes over time. Paul Tullis, Bloomberg.com, "Using Dust and DNA to Trace Products All the Way Back to the Factory," 5 May 2020 For patients with bacteria in their urine, these are standard questions to determine whether those bacteria indicate a harmful infection or are peaceful residents of the microbiome. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, "Her M.R.I. Came Back Normal After a Seizure. Could It Be Covid-19?," 30 Apr. 2020 Researchers unveiled a comprehensive catalogue of the vaginal microbiome. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's Magazine, "Findings," 27 Apr. 2020 Beneficial bacteria that help populate the baby’s gut come from the mother’s own microbiome. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "A Bold and Controversial Idea for Making Breast Milk," 27 Feb. 2020 Mother wasps ensured that their offspring had this altered microbiome by laying eggs covered in the bacteria. Popular Science, "A healthy wasp microbiome can fend off pesticides," 5 Feb. 2020 As a carcass decomposes, the bacteria in the body itself runs rampant, producing its signature stink and bastardizing the soil’s microbiome. Matt Simon, Wired, "The Macabre Science of Animal Mass Die-Offs," 21 Jan. 2020 Probiotics and prebiotics help boost the health of the microbiome, which in turn supports our immune system, explained Majumdar. Lisa Drayer, CNN, "How to strengthen your immunity to coronavirus. Part 1: Diet," 25 Mar. 2020 Alcohol alters the number of microbes in the gut microbiome, a community of microorganisms that affect the immune system. Tara Parker-pope, New York Times, "Can I Boost My Immune System?," 10 Mar. 2020

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

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Microbiome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/microbiome. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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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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