ther·​mo·​phil·​ic ˌthər-mə-ˈfi-lik How to pronounce thermophilic (audio)
variants or less commonly thermophilous or thermophile
: of, relating to, or being an organism living at a high temperature
thermophilic fermentation
thermophilic bacteria
thermophile noun

Examples of thermophilic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To try to get rid of the waste the booms and mats collected, the team subjected them to two composting methods: worms and thermophilic fungi, or heat-loving bacteria and fungi that can kill pathogens by generating high temperatures. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 26 Feb. 2024 Often, these proteins come from thermophilic microbes—those that tolerate hot temperatures. Matthew Hutson, The New Yorker, 6 Feb. 2024 The combination of vermicomposting and thermophilic composting – the process of letting bacteria break down food waste – can process every bit of food and landscape waste that a family produces, according to Brooks. Kylie Werner, The Arizona Republic, 16 June 2023 Because this modern giant ant and other ants longer than an inch living in South American and Australia like tropical settings, the researchers think T. lubei was also thermophilic (i.e., sets up shop in warm places). Patrick Morgan, Discover Magazine, 4 May 2011 Houses are filled with appealing niches, including the hot water heater, which hosts exotic species of thermophilic bacteria first discovered in hot springs. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, 2 Oct. 2020 Ever since microbes were discovered squirming around in hydrothermal springs several decades ago, the limit of heat-loving (thermophilic) organisms has been a moving target. Jeffrey Marlow, Discover Magazine, 29 Nov. 2016 Inside the engine, for example, where high temperatures are reached, thermophilic bacteria could (maybe) be found. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 4 June 2022 The closed-vessel system also accelerated the proliferation of the thermophilic organisms that break a body down, transforming it into soil in just thirty days. Lisa Wells, Harper's Magazine, 28 Sep. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'thermophilic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1894, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of thermophilic was circa 1894

Dictionary Entries Near thermophilic

Cite this Entry

“Thermophilic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


ther·​mo·​phil·​ic ˌthər-mə-ˈfil-ik How to pronounce thermophilic (audio)
variants also thermophilous or thermophile
: of, relating to, or being an organism living at a high temperature
thermophilic bacteria
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