microbiome

noun

mi·​cro·​bi·​ome ˌmī-krō-ˈbī-ˌōm How to pronounce microbiome (audio)
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 That can cause an imbalance in the oral microbiome (all the bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoans living in the mouth). Kaitlin Sullivan, Health, 11 July 2024 The new findings could pave the way to diagnostic tests for autism that use stool samples, which contain information about the gut microbiome. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 July 2024 In a series of experiments, mice and humans with a propensity for binge eating had similar levels of two types of bacteria in their microbiomes — one detrimental and one beneficial. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 28 June 2024 In the context of stress, scientists have found even short term exposure to stress can lead to alterations in the microbiome, and that changing the composition of the microbiome could make some mice more resilient to stress. Will Stone, NPR, 25 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for microbiome 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'microbiome.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

micro- + biome

First Known Use

1952, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of microbiome was in 1952

Dictionary Entries Near microbiome

Cite this Entry

“Microbiome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/microbiome. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

microbiome

noun
mi·​cro·​bi·​ome ˌmī-krō-ˈbī-ˌōm How to pronounce microbiome (audio)
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
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
The human oral microbiome comprises all microbial species in the oral cavity.Naomi P. O'Grady, The Journal of the American Medical Association
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
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
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