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[trep-uh-nee-muh] /ˌtrɛp əˈni mə/
noun, plural treponemas, treponemata
[trep-uh-nee-muh-tuh] /ˌtrɛp əˈni mə tə/ (Show IPA)
any of several anaerobic spirochetes of the genus Treponema, certain species of which are parasitic in and pathogenic for humans and warm-blooded animals.
Origin of treponema
1905-10; < New Latin: genus name < Greek trép(ein) to turn + -o- -o- + nêma thread
Related forms
[trep-uh-nem-uh-tuh s, -nee-muh-] /ˌtrɛp əˈnɛm ə təs, -ˈni mə-/ (Show IPA),
treponemal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for treponema
Historical Examples
  • Syphilis is caused by treponema pallidum, a small unicellular animal parasite.

    Being Well-Born Michael F. Guyer
  • This disease is caused by a microorganism known as the spirochaeta pallida or treponema pallidum of Schaudinn and Hoffmann.

  • Postmortem examination always shows that the treponema has wrought wide-spread damage in the brain.

    Being Well-Born Michael F. Guyer
British Dictionary definitions for treponema


noun (pl) -nemas, -nemata (-ˈniːmətə), -nemes
any anaerobic spirochaete bacterium of the genus Treponema, such as T. pallidum which causes syphilis
Derived Forms
treponematous (ˌtrɛpəˈnɛmətəs) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from Greek trepein to turn + nēma thread
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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treponema in Medicine

Treponema Trep·o·ne·ma (trěp'ə-nē'mə)
A genus of anaerobic spirochetes including species that cause syphilis, pinta, and yaws.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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