- a microorganism, especially a pathogenic bacterium.
- any microscopic organism, esp a disease-causing bacterium
n.popular name for a bacterium, 1878, from French microbe, “badly coined … by Sédillot” [Weekley] in 1878 from Greek mikros “small” (see mica) + bios “life” (see bio-). It is an incorrect use of bios; in Greek the word would mean literally “short-lived.” n.
- A microorganism, especially a bacterium that causes disease; a minute life form. No longer in technical use.
- A microorganism, especially a bacterium that causes disease. See Note at germ.