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bacteria

[bak-teer-ee-uh] /bækˈtɪər i ə/
plural noun, singular bacterium
[bak-teer-ee-uh m] /bækˈtɪər i əm/ (Show IPA)
1.
ubiquitous one-celled organisms, spherical, spiral, or rod-shaped and appearing singly or in chains, comprising the Schizomycota, a phylum of the kingdom Monera (in some classification systems the plant class Schizomycetes), various species of which are involved in fermentation, putrefaction, infectious diseases, or nitrogen fixation.
Origin
1905-1910
1905-10; < Neo-Latin < Greek baktḗria, plural of baktḗrion; see bacterium
Related forms
bacterial, adjective
bacterially, adverb
nonbacterial, adjective
nonbacterially, adverb
unbacterial, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for bacteria
  • Pasteurization is supposed to kill all all the bacteria, good and bad.
  • Although dozens of Americans have been exposed to the bacteria, so far less than 10 people have contracted the disease.
  • There is a video game in which players fire antibiotic ammunition at bacteria.
  • Dangerous bacteria could be lurking in the water at the beach.
  • Rather than killing all bacteria, the products destroy only the weakest, leaving stronger ones to survive and multiply.
  • If you want to eat fruit, go with pineapple--its thick skin keeps it safe from pesticides, bugs and surface bacteria.
  • Most dishwashers don't reach the required temperature to kill all bacteria and spores.
  • In fact, bacteria use a system of viral transfer of genes to mutate their populations on a large scale.
  • Freezing stops some bacteria from growing, but others are perfectly happy to live in the freezer.
  • Raw organic milk has hundreds of times the bacteria of conventional .
British Dictionary definitions for bacteria

bacteria

/bækˈtɪərɪə/
plural noun (sing) -rium (-rɪəm)
1.
a very large group of microorganisms comprising one of the three domains of living organisms. They are prokaryotic, unicellular, and either free-living in soil or water or parasites of plants or animals See also prokaryote
Derived Forms
bacterial, adjective
bacterially, adverb
Word Origin
C19: plural of New Latin bacterium, from Greek baktērion, literally: a little stick, from baktron rod, staff
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 bacteria
n.

1847, plural of Modern Latin bacterium, from Greek bakterion "small staff," diminutive of baktron "stick, rod," from PIE *bak- "staff used for support." So called because the first ones observed were rod-shaped. Introduced as a scientific word 1838 by German naturalist Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg (1795-1876).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bacteria in Medicine

bacteria bac·te·ri·a (bāk-tǐr'ē-ə)
n.
Plural of bacterium.


bac·te'ri·al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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bacteria in Science
bacteria
  (bāk-tîr'ē-ə)   
Plural of bacterium.
bacterium
  (bāk-tîr'ē-əm)   
Plural bacteria
Any of a large group of one-celled organisms that lack a cell nucleus, reproduce by fission or by forming spores, and in some cases cause disease. They are the most abundant lifeforms on Earth, and are found in all living things and in all of the Earth's environments. Bacteria usually live off other organisms. Bacteria make up most of the kingdom of prokaryotes (Monera or Prokaryota), with one group (the archaea or archaebacteria) often classified as a separate kingdom. See also archaeon, prokaryote.

bacterial adjective
Our Living Language  : It is important to remember that bacteria is the plural of bacterium, and that saying a bacteria is incorrect. It is correct to say The soil sample contains millions of bacteria, and Tetanus is caused by a bacterium.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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bacteria in Culture

bacteria definition


sing. bacterium

Microorganisms made up of a single cell that has no distinct nucleus. Bacteria reproduce by fission or by forming spores.

Note: Some bacteria are beneficial to humans (for example, those that live in the stomach and aid digestion), and some are harmful (for example, those that cause disease).
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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