Definition of coliform in English:



  • Belonging to a group of rod-shaped bacteria typified by E. coli.

    • ‘The test for coliform bacteria is relatively inexpensive and easy to perform.’
    • ‘Much of the debate over the Florida Keys no-discharge area focused on the fact that water quality problems in the sanctuary were largely from land-based sources and those pollutants are largely nutrients, not fecal coliform bacteria.’
    • ‘One specific subgroup of coliform are fecal coliform bacteria, the most common of which is Escherichia coli, known widely as E. coli.’
    • ‘Even on a good day the river Ganges picks up levels of fecal coliform bacteria as it flows past Varanasi that are 10,000 times the World Health Organisation's standards for drinking water.’
    • ‘The model also allowed USGS researchers to measure water-quality effects in terms of loads, the total amount of a contaminant, such as fecal coliform bacteria, that is transported past a monitoring station over a given period of time.’


Early 20th century: from modern Latin coli ‘of the colon’ + -form.