staph·​y·​lo·​coc·​cus | \ ˌsta-f(ə-)lō-ˈkä-kəs How to pronounce staphylococcus (audio) \
plural staphylococci\ ˌsta-​f(ə-​)lō-​ˈkä-​ˌkī How to pronounce staphylococcus (audio) , -​(ˌ)kē ; -​ˈkäk-​ˌsī , -​(ˌ)sē \

Definition of staphylococcus

: any of a genus (Staphylococcus) of nonmotile gram-positive spherical bacteria that occur singly, in pairs or tetrads, or in irregular clusters and include causative agents of various diseases (such as skin infections, food poisoning, and endocarditis)

Examples of staphylococcus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As early as 1947, penicillin-resistant staphylococcus bacteria were found in hospitals in England, but few heeded Fleming’s warning. Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker, "When a Virus Is the Cure," 14 Dec. 2020 Another study revealed something even more alarming on paper money: pathogens like E. coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus aureus. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, "7 Unexpected Places Germs Congregate," 10 Nov. 2020 Toxic shock syndrome, meanwhile, is caused by a toxin produced by some forms of staphylococcus bacteria and involves fever, shock and problems with several body organs, according to the US National Library of Medicine. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Everything you need to know about a mysterious illness that's killed 3 children and may be linked to coronavirus," 10 May 2020 Bacteria and viruses die within hours of coming into contact with copper; E.coli, listeria, MRSA, and staphylococcus are killed with minutes. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "How Using Copper in Your Home Helps Your Health," 19 Mar. 2020 Thomas Cook, the travel company, said that high levels of E. coli and staphylococcus bacteria, which can cause toxic shock syndrome, were found at the hotel where the couple stayed. Elizabeth Llorente, Fox News, "When dream vacations turn into tragedies: Many deaths at popular resorts remain mysteries," 12 June 2019 To back up, staphylococcus typically isn’t a concern for the general population, says Reynolds. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "How Gross Is It Really to Re-Wear Sweaty Workout Clothes?," 5 June 2019 Lab tested to kill 99.99 percent of illness-causing bacteria such as staphylococcus, salmonella, pseudomonas, and MRSA. Necee Regis,, "Here, there, and everywhere," 23 July 2019 Necrotizing fasciitis, the medical name for the condition that most call flesh-eating bacteria, Nizet noted, is most often caused by streptococcus or staphylococcus bacteria, usually called Strep and Staph. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Expert: Flesh-eating bacteria often present in the body before severe infection takes hold," 19 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'staphylococcus.' 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 staphylococcus

1887, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for staphylococcus

New Latin, from Greek staphylē bunch of grapes + New Latin -coccus

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Time Traveler for staphylococcus

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The first known use of staphylococcus was in 1887

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Cite this Entry

“Staphylococcus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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staph·​y·​lo·​coc·​cus | \ ˌstaf-ə-lō-ˈkäk-əs How to pronounce staphylococcus (audio) \

Medical Definition of staphylococcus

1 capitalized : a genus of nonmotile gram-positive spherical bacteria that is placed in either of two families (Staphylococcaceae or Micrococcaceae), contains forms occurring singly, in pairs or tetrads, or in irregular clusters, and includes causative agents of various diseases and disorders (as food poisoning, skin infections, and endocarditis)
2 plural staphylococci\ -​ˈkäk-​ˌ(s)ī How to pronounce staphylococcus (audio) \ : any bacterium of the genus Staphylococcus broadly : micrococcus sense 2

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