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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One specific subgroup of coliform are fecal coliform bacteria, the most common of which is Escherichia coli, known widely as E. coli.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


Early 20th century: from modern Latin coli of the colon + -iform.