spirillum

noun

spi·​ril·​lum spī-ˈri-ləm How to pronounce spirillum (audio)
plural spirilla spī-ˈri-lə How to pronounce spirillum (audio)
: any of a genus (Spirillum) of curved elongated motile bacteria having tufts of flagella at both poles
broadly : a spiral filamentous bacterium (such as a spirochete)

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from diminutive of Latin spira coil

First Known Use

circa 1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spirillum was circa 1875

Dictionary Entries Near spirillum

Cite this Entry

“Spirillum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spirillum. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

spirillum

noun
spi·​ril·​lum spī-ˈril-əm How to pronounce spirillum (audio)
plural spirilla -ˈril-ə How to pronounce spirillum (audio)
: any of a genus of long curved bacteria with a bunch of flagella at both ends
also : any spiral thread-shaped bacterium (as a spirochete)

Medical Definition

spirillum

noun
spi·​ril·​lum spī-ˈril-əm How to pronounce spirillum (audio)
1
capitalized : a genus of gram-negative bacteria comprising elongated forms having tufts of flagella at both poles and usually living in stagnant water rich in organic matter see rat-bite fever sense b
2
plural spirilla -ˈril-ə How to pronounce spirillum (audio) : any bacterium of the genus Spirillum

More from Merriam-Webster on spirillum

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!