Germest

germ

[jurm]
noun
1.
a microorganism, especially when disease-producing; microbe.
2.
a bud, offshoot, or seed.
3.
the rudiment of a living organism; an embryo in its early stages.
4.
the initial stage in development or evolution, as a germ cell or ancestral form.
5.
something that serves as a source or initial stage for subsequent development: the germ of an idea.
adjective
6.
Pathology. of, pertaining to, or caused by disease-producing germs.

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English < Middle French germe < Latin germen shoot, sprout, by dissimilation from *genmen, equivalent to gen- (see genitor, genus) + -men resultative noun suffix)

germless, adjective
germlike, adjective


4. spark, root, bud, rudiment, seed.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
germ (dʒɜːm)
 
n
1.  a microorganism, esp one that produces disease in animals or plants
2.  (often plural) the rudimentary or initial form of something: the germs of revolution
3.  a simple structure, such as a fertilized egg, that is capable of developing into a complete organism
 
[C17: from French germe, from Latin germen sprig, bud, sprout, seed]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

germ
1644, "rudiment of a new organism in an existing one," from M.Fr. germe, from L. germen (gen. germinis) "sprout, bud," from PIE base *gen- "to beget, bear" (cf. Skt. janman "birth, origin;" see genus). The original sense is preserved in wheat germ and germ of an idea; sense
of "seed of a disease" first recorded 1803; that of "harmful microorganism" dates from 1871.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

germ (jûrm)
n.

  1. A small mass of protoplasm or cells from which a new organism or one of its parts may develop.

  2. A microorganism, especially a pathogen.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
germ   (jûrm)  Pronunciation Key 
A microscopic organism or agent, especially one that is pathogenic, such as a bacterium or virus.

Our Living Language  : The terms germ and microbe have been used to refer to invisible agents of disease since the nineteenth century, when scientists introduced the germ theory of disease, the idea that infections and contagious diseases are caused by microorganisms. Microbe, a shortening and alteration of microorganism, comes from the Greek prefix mikro-, "small," and the word bios, "life." Scientists no longer use the terms germ and microbe very much. Today they can usually identify the specific agents of disease, such as individual species of bacteria or viruses. To refer generally to agents of disease, they use the term pathogen, from the Greek pathos, "suffering," and the suffix -gen, "producer." They use microorganism to refer to any unicellular organism, whether disease-causing or not.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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