\ ˈfāj How to pronounce phage (audio) also ˈfäzh How to pronounce phage (audio) \

Definition of phage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Definition of -phage (Entry 2 of 2)

: virus or cell that destroys cells bacteriophage microphage

Examples of phage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Scientists stumbled upon them more than a half-century ago while hunting for another type of murderous microbe called a bacteriophage, or phage, a virus that can infect and kill bacteria. Star Tribune, "How bacteria-eating bacteria could help win the war against germs," 27 Aug. 2020 Laura Marinelli, PhD, is a phage scientist with expertise in microbiology and the skin microbiome, as well as the scientific advisor for Ellis Day Skin Science. Olivia Muenter, Allure, "Long-Term Effects of Microblading to Consider Before You Commit," 25 Aug. 2020 Researchers are also developing premixed phage cocktails for some of the more common superbug strains. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "The Virtuous Side of Viruses," 26 May 2020 The effort that is furthest along, however, relies on a phage enzyme called a lysin rather than on whole phages. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "The Virtuous Side of Viruses," 26 May 2020 These huge phages have other strange characteristics. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "A Huge Discovery in the World of Viruses," 20 Feb. 2020 Strathdee identified Patterson’s eventual savior, a class of viruses called phages that attack bacteria. San Diego Union-Tribune, "UCSD’s Center for Novel Therapeutics brings cancer researchers, industry, together," 20 Sep. 2019 Researchers have uncovered dozens of other systems that bacteria use to rebuff phage invasions. Quanta Magazine, "Biodiversity Alters Strategies of Bacterial Evolution," 6 Jan. 2020 Viruses known as phages can kill specific bacteria. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Microbe that got man drunk could help explain common liver disease," 19 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of phage


1925, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phage


by shortening

Noun combining form

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

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Time Traveler for phage

Time Traveler

The first known use of phage was in 1925

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Statistics for phage

Last Updated

1 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Phage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for phage


\ ˈfāj also ˈfäzh \

Medical Definition of phage

More from Merriam-Webster on phage Encyclopedia article about phage

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