English edit

3D diagram of a bacterium
Shapes of bacteria

Etymology edit

From New Latin bactērium, from Ancient Greek βακτήριον (baktḗrion, small staff), from βακτηρία (baktēría).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /bækˈtɪəɹ.ɪəm/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪəɹiəm

Noun edit

bacterium (plural bacteria or (uncommon, possibly nonstandard) bacteriums)

  1. (microbiology) A single-celled organism with cell walls but no nucleus or organelles.
    • 2013 July 20, “Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field.

Usage notes edit

  • In most formal writing, bacterium is the singular form of the noun, and bacteria the plural form. This is in accord with the word's Latin etymology. However, in ordinary speech, some speakers use bacteria as a singular, with plural either bacteria or bacterias. This is usually considered nonstandard.

Hypernyms edit

Hyponyms edit

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading edit

See also edit

Latin edit

Latin Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia la

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Ancient Greek βακτήριον (baktḗrion, small staff), from βακτηρία (baktēría).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

bactērium n (genitive bactēriī); second declension

  1. (Late Latin, Medieval Latin) cane, walking-stick; staff (of a shepherd)
  2. (New Latin, microbiology) bacterium

Declension edit

Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative bactērium bactēria
Genitive bactēriī bactēriōrum
Dative bactēriō bactēriīs
Accusative bactērium bactēria
Ablative bactēriō bactēriīs
Vocative bactērium bactēria

References edit

  • bacterium in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • bacterium in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • bacterium in Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften (1967– ) Mittellateinisches Wörterbuch, Munich: C.H. Beck
  • Niermeyer, Jan Frederik (1976) “bacterius”, in Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus, Leiden, Boston: E. J. Brill, page 76