Definition of fungus in English:

fungus

noun

  • 1Any of a group of spore-producing organisms feeding on organic matter, including moulds, yeast, mushrooms, and toadstools.

    ‘truffles are fungi but not mushrooms’
    mass noun ‘fallen logs were overgrown with bright fungus’
    • ‘One side was fence, the other a swamp, a mire skewered by rotting birch trunks bracketed by hard tinder fungi.’
    • ‘It may be less well known that ethylene is also produced naturally by bacteria and fungi.’
    • ‘The funguses in which penicillin was discovered use it to kill bacteria which might compete with them for food.’
    • ‘Endophytic bacteria and fungi act both as growth promoters and as biocontrol agents.’
    • ‘Bacteria, fungi and plants synthesize pantothenate, but animals obtain it from their diet.’
    • ‘The combination of air and wet silage and heat make an ideal environment for yeasts and fungi to multiply.’
    • ‘The ring is caused by one of several fungi that grow on organic matter in the soil.’
    • ‘Now I've got to tell you I'm no expert in mushrooms toadstools and fungi in general.’
    • ‘Sulphate assimilation is present in plants, algae, fungi, and many autotrophic prokaryotes.’
    • ‘Bacteria and fungi are largely responsible for the breakdown of organic matter on Earth.’
    • ‘Filamentous ascomycete fungi have nearly twice as many genes and are much more typical higher fungi than yeasts.’
    • ‘Jasmonic acid is likely to occur ubiquitously in the plant kingdom, and it has also been found in some fungi.’
    • ‘In season, a wider variety of fungi, including chanterelles, is perfect.’
    • ‘As mycorrhizal fungi can extend for some distance out from the plant root, this region can be significant.’
    • ‘So-called sour rot is due to a mix of fungi, yeasts, acetic acid bacteria, and fruit fly larvae.’
    • ‘The best thing to do with old cherry trunks is to let them lie in the woods, rotting down to feed fungi and invertebrates.’
    • ‘Carotenoid pigments are synthesized by all higher plants, algae, and some bacteria and fungi.’
    • ‘Active sodium export is a well-investigated phenomenon in bacteria, fungi and animals.’
    • ‘Data about antioxidative systems in mycorrhizal fungi in pure culture and in symbiosis are scarce.’
    • ‘There's a variety of mushrooms and other fungi about too, for the budding amateur mycologist.’
    mushroom, toadstool
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun Fungal infection (especially on fish)
      ‘farmed fish often get fungus’
      • ‘A dye called Malachite green, used to treat fungus on fish, is carcinogenic.’
      • ‘Most healthy people who are infected with this fungus never have any symptoms, because their bodies fight off the disease.’
      • ‘One of the greatest challenges for hatchery managers is to control the spread of fungus on fish held in captivity, particularly during autumn.’
      • ‘If you see white crusty stuff, your child may have athlete's foot - a highly contagious fungus that she probably picked up in the shower from another family member.’
      • ‘An infection of nail fungus occurs when fungi infect one or more of your nails.’
      • ‘The Black Sigatoka fungus, while only recently reported in Florida, has been affecting crops in the developing world for years.’
      • ‘It can be caused by a bacteria, fungus, or parasite.’
      • ‘He concludes with the ‘bad news’ of how the natural world is slowly being done in by the equally zealous American fungus of resource development.’
      • ‘I'm no oil painting, and its hardly wise to make things worse, so I'll just count a couple of months in 1997 as the one time I sported facial fungus.’
      • ‘Bight, fungus, bacterial infection - the vulnerable tomatoes were threatened at every sprout.’
      • ‘Artificial nails present a situation that is ideal for infection by fungus and bacteria, especially when they are left on too long.’
      • ‘Tea tree is useful on a wide range of infections from colds and flu to thrush and chicken pox due to its ability to tackle bacteria, fungus, viruses and parasites whilst increasing the body's natural immunity.’
      • ‘Infection by this fungus is commonly reported from Thailand where it is the third commonest AIDS defining opportunistic infection.’
      • ‘He suspects the gastric breeding frog was probably the victim of a naturally occurring fungus that attacks the skin of the species.’
      • ‘Many of them were caused by fungus and parasites in the water.’
      • ‘The symptoms and appearances of a fungal skin infection depend on the type of fungus causing it and the part of the body affected.’
      • ‘Sometimes the doctor may want to examine the hair root to look for fungus or see what is the predominant type of hair falling - whether it is anagen hair or telogen hair.’
      • ‘A few years back my nurse practitioner confirmed that one of my toenails was infected with fungus.’
      • ‘The spores of this fungus infect fresh wounds and cuts in the autumn and winter months and for this reason, plums are best pruned in late spring or early summer.’
      • ‘I have fungus on my toenails, and I don't want anyone to see my feet.’
      • ‘The Scottish Executive outlawed malachite green, widely used by fish farmers to treat fungus in salmon, on June 11.’
      • ‘Moisture condensation can cause fungus and mold infection.’

Fungi lack chlorophyll and are therefore incapable of photosynthesis, and may be unicellular, multicellular, or syncytial. Many play an ecologically vital role in breaking down dead organic matter, some are an important source of antibiotics or are used in fermentation, and others cause disease. The familiar mushrooms and toadstools are merely the fruiting bodies of organisms that exist mainly as a threadlike mycelium in the soil. Some fungi form associations with other plants, growing with algae to form lichens, or in the roots of higher plants to form mycorrhizas. Fungi are now often classified as a separate kingdom distinct from the green plants

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin, perhaps from Greek spongos (see sponge).

Pronunciation

fungus

/ˈfʌŋɡəs/