staph·​y·​lo·​coc·​cus | \ ˌsta-f(ə-)lō-ˈkä-kəs \
plural staphylococci\ ˌsta-​f(ə-​)lō-​ˈkä-​ˌkī , -​(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

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The results found all types of bacteria, like staphylococcus, streptococcus, bacillus cereus, and E. coli. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "6 Places Germs Are Hiding In Your House," 11 Oct. 2018 Staph infections form when a type of staphylococcus bacteria infects some part of the body, the Mayo Clinic explains, most commonly causing boils that form in oil glands or hair follicles. Lynsey Eidell, SELF, "Blink-182's Travis Barker Is Back in the Hospital Due to Complications From Blood Clots," 20 June 2018 There have been several reports of people developing staphylococcus or myobacterium infections after getting fish pedicures, for starters. Amanda Macmillan,, "A Fish Pedicure Caused a Woman's Toenails to Stop Growing and Fall Off, According to Her Doctor," 5 July 2018 Now, more than a year later, the BC Coroners Service confirmed a strain of staphylococcus aureus on a tampon, as well as other symptoms consistent with TSS, were discovered, CTV News reported. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Teen who died on overnight school trip contracted toxic shock syndrome," 28 June 2018 The immunologist also ordered a sputum test, which revealed a strain of staphylococcus bacteria in Mimi's lungs. Sandra G. Boodman,, "The girl who couldn't stop coughing," 5 Apr. 2018 The immunologist also ordered a sputum test, which revealed a strain of staphylococcus bacteria in Mimi’s lungs. Sandra G. Boodman, Washington Post, "Why did a little girl have a persistent ‘smoker’s cough’?," 31 Mar. 2018 An aggressive staphylococcus infection attacked Australian mother Jo Gilchrist's spine and eventually rendered her completely paralyzed. Simedar Jackson, Marie Claire, "22 Beauty Horror Stories That Will Make You Rethink Everything," 15 May 2017 In September 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the CDC reported 30 cases of MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus bacterium, among a group of evacuees sent to Dallas. The Washington Post,, "Flesh-eating bacteria kills hero of Hurricane Harvey," 25 Oct. 2017

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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The first known use of staphylococcus was in 1887

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More Definitions for staphylococcus


staph·​y·​lo·​coc·​cus | \ ˌstaf-ə-lō-ˈkäk-əs \

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 \ : any bacterium of the genus Staphylococcus broadly : micrococcus sense 2

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a servile follower or underling

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