a microorganism, especially a pathogenic bacterium.

1880–85; < French < Greek mīkro- micro- + bíos life

microbeless, adjective
microbial, microbic, microbian, adjective
nonmicrobic, adjective
unmicrobial, adjective
unmicrobic, adjective
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World English Dictionary
microbe (ˈmaɪkrəʊb)
any microscopic organism, esp a disease-causing bacterium
[C19: from French, from micro- + Greek bios life]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

popular name for a bacterium, 1868, from Fr. microbe, "badly coined ... by Sédillot" [Weekley] from Gk. mikros "small" + bios "life" (see bio-). Incorrect use of bios; in Gk. the word would mean lit. "short-lived."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

microbe mi·crobe (mī'krōb')
A microorganism, especially a bacterium that causes disease; a minute life form. No longer in technical use.

mi·cro'bi·al (mī-krō'bē-əl) 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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
microbe   (mī'krōb')  Pronunciation Key 
A microorganism, especially a bacterium that causes disease. See Note at germ.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
No aspect of biomedical research seems more urgent today than the study of
  microbial diseases.
Give it a daily spin to keep the microbial party going.
Cheese is an everyday artifact of microbial artistry.
And by reducing the microbial community, you also run the risk of reducing
  protection against the pathogens.
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