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bacillus

[buh-sil-uh s] /bəˈsɪl əs/
noun, plural bacilli
[buh-sil-ahy] /bəˈsɪl aɪ/ (Show IPA)
1.
any rod-shaped or cylindrical bacterium of the genus Bacillus, comprising spore-producing bacteria.
2.
(formerly) any bacterium.
Origin
1880-1885
1880-85; < Late Latin, variant of Latin bacillum (diminutive of baculum) staff, walking stick
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for bacilli
  • Bacteria which have flagella are either rod or spiral-shaped and are known as bacilli and spirochetes, respectively.
British Dictionary definitions for bacilli

bacillus

/bəˈsɪləs/
noun (pl) -cilli (-ˈsɪlaɪ)
1.
any rod-shaped bacterium, such as a clostridium bacterium Compare coccus (sense 2), spirillum (sense 1)
2.
any of various rodlike spore-producing bacteria constituting the family Bacillaceae, esp of the genus Bacillus
Word Origin
C19: from Latin: a small staff, from baculum walking stick
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bacilli
n.

plural of bacillus (q.v.).

bacillus

n.

1877, medical Latin, from Late Latin bacillus "wand," literally "little staff," diminutive of baculum "a stick," from PIE root *bak- "staff," also source of Greek bakterion (see bacteria). Introduced as a term in bacteriology 1853 by German botanist Ferdinand Cohn (1828-1898).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bacilli in Medicine

bacillus ba·cil·lus (bə-sĭl'əs)
n. pl. ba·cil·li (-sĭl'ī')

  1. Any of various rod-shaped, usually gram-positive aerobic bacteria of the genus Bacillus that often occur in chains and include Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax.

  2. Any of various bacteria, especially a rod-shaped bacterium.

Bacillus (bə-sĭl'əs)
n.
A genus of rod-shaped gram-positive bacteria capable of producing endospores.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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bacilli in Science
bacillus
  (bə-sĭl'əs)   
Plural bacilli (bə-sĭl'ī')
Any of various pathogenic bacteria, especially one that is rod-shaped.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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bacilli in Culture
bacilli [(buh-sil-eye)]

sing. bacillus

One of three forms of bacteria, usually rod-shaped.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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