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noun combining form

: virus or cell that destroys cells

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
In the open category, Xiang En Lim won with this portrait of Esther Lederberg, whose research on lambda phage viruses has helped to advance the field of genetics. Eva Amsen, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2022 To find out, Doudna, UC Berkeley geomicrobiologist Jillian Banfield, and their colleagues went looking for additional examples of CRISPR in the phage world. Bymitch Leslie,, 23 Nov. 2022 Testing a phage is quite straightforward in principle. WIRED, 27 Sep. 2022 Some of these antiviral defenses, such as CRISPR-Cas9, recognize specific sequences in the DNA that a phage injects into its host. Annie Melchor, Quanta Magazine, 29 Aug. 2022 Patterson's case was published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in 2017, jump-starting new scientific interest in phage therapy. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 8 July 2022 It’s not just bacterial switches that appear to be phage inventions. Ivan Erill, The Conversation, 19 Oct. 2021 Perhaps not surprisingly, bacterial and phage switches are evolutionarily related. Ivan Erill, The Conversation, 19 Oct. 2021 In a new study by Garrett et al., a complete set of overlapping linear peptides on a phage display backbone was developed, which spanned the entire spike protein. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 13 May 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



by shortening

Noun combining form

Greek -phagos one that eats, from -phagos -phagous

First Known Use


1925, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of phage was in 1925

Dictionary Entries Near phage

Cite this Entry

“Phage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


ˈfāj How to pronounce phage (audio)
 also  ˈfäzh

Medical Definition


ˈfāj also ˈfäzh

More from Merriam-Webster on phage

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