trep·​o·​ne·​ma | \ ˌtre-pə-ˈnē-mə How to pronounce treponema (audio) \
plural treponemata\ ˌtre-​pə-​ˈnē-​mə-​tə How to pronounce treponemata (audio) \ or treponemas

Definition of treponema

: any of a genus (Treponema) of spirochetes that are pathogenic in humans and other warm-blooded animals and include the causative agents of syphilis and yaws

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Other Words from treponema

treponemal \ ˌtre-​pə-​ˈnē-​məl How to pronounce treponemal (audio) \ adjective

Examples of treponema in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Her own research has led her to suspect that the treponema bacteria originated in the New World, manifesting as yaws and spread through skin-to-skin contact exposed by a warm climate. National Geographic, "Syphilis DNA Pulled From Colonial-Era Bones," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'treponema.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of treponema

1908, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for treponema

New Latin Treponemat-, Treponema, from Greek trepein to turn + nēma thread, from nēn to spin — more at needle

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Time Traveler for treponema

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The first known use of treponema was in 1908

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Cite this Entry

“Treponema.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for treponema


trep·​o·​ne·​ma | \ ˌtrep-ə-ˈnē-mə How to pronounce treponema (audio) \

Medical Definition of treponema

1 capitalized : a genus of the family Spirochaetaceae comprising anaerobic spirochetes that are pathogenic in humans and other warm-blooded animals and include one (T. pallidum) causing syphilis and another (T. pertenue) causing yaws
2 plural treponemata\ -​mət-​ə How to pronounce treponemata (audio) \ or treponemas : any spirochete of the genus Treponema

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