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definition of the word bacteria

by the Wiktionnary

Bacteria viewed through an electron microscope

From New Latin bacteria, plural of bacterium, from Ancient Greek βακτήριον (baktērion), neuter diminutive of βακτηρία (baktēria), rod, stick).


  1. Plural form of bacterium.
  2. (US, nonstandard) A type, species, or strain of bacterium
    • 2002, A.C. Panchdhari, Water Supply and Sanitary Installations[1], 2nd ed., ISBN 8122412254, page 177:  
      Anaerobic bacteria function in the absence of oxygen, where as aerobic bacteria require sunlight and also oxygen. Both these bacterias are capable of breaking down the organic matter []
  3. (US, proscribed) Alternative form of bacterium.
  4. (pejorative, slang) A derisive term for a lowlife or a slob (could be treated as plural or singular).

Definition from Wiktionary
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