Definition of germ in English:

germ

noun

  • 1A microorganism, especially one which causes disease.

    • ‘Clean bathroom surfaces also help prevent the spread of infectious germs.’
    • ‘With a little prevention, you can keep harmful germs out of your child's way!’
    • ‘But since pasteurisation kills not only germs but also useful bacteria, a culture is added to the milk in order to reintroduce all essential bacteria.’
    • ‘Like many germs, the bacteria that cause botulism in infants are everywhere in the environment.’
    • ‘Over 40 different strains of the Legionella germ have now been discovered.’
    • ‘If your child gets infected again, it's more likely to be with these resistant germs.’
    • ‘Some disease-causing germs travel through the air in particles considerably smaller than droplets.’
    • ‘The hands that treat patients and the instruments used to save lives could be spreading deadly germs.’
    • ‘Deadly germs infect nearly 2 million of the nation's hospital patients and kill close to 100,000 every year.’
    • ‘Whatever he put on it to kill the germs made me hiss with discomfort.’
    • ‘Therefore, agricultural, herding societies will carry deadlier germs than will hunter-gatherers or people that farm only plants.’
    • ‘After TB germs enter the body, in most cases, the body's defences control the germs.’
    • ‘The pit may act as the breeding ground of disease-causing germs and mosquitoes.’
    • ‘Food and water also can carry infectious germs, so be sure to wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating.’
    • ‘I can't help feeling it harbours all kinds of nasty germs.’
    • ‘If the TB germs become active, TB disease can develop.’
    • ‘They discovered acupuncture before it was known that blood circulates, or that germs cause disease.’
    • ‘Most chest infections are usually caused by germs such as bacteria or viruses.’
    • ‘However, this doesn't kill bacteria and could in fact spread the invisible germs around kitchen surfaces.’
    • ‘Resistant germs aren't killed by the usual antibiotics.’
    microbe, microorganism, bacillus, bacterium, virus
    View synonyms
  • 2A portion of an organism capable of developing into a new one or part of one.

    • ‘These bodies are obviously organized, resembling in all points the germs of the lowest organisms, and diverse in size and structure.’
    • ‘A mesenchymal signal triggers an ectodermal cell to proliferate and the cells grow downward to form a hair germ.’
    • ‘Many multicellular organisms have a germ that is segregated early in the development.’
    1. 2.1The embryo in a cereal grain or other plant seed.
      • ‘In the case of corn germ, 10 out of the 16 quality attributes substantially affect yield, with oil content appearing to play the biggest role in this case.’
      • ‘Damage occurs when beetles feed on the seed and destroy the germ, resulting in an uneven stand.’
      • ‘Originally, most ethanol was made through wet-milling, which means the starch is separated from the corn germ and fiber and liquefied by cooking.’
      • ‘It has an outer casing, a starchy inner and a tiny germ or embryo.’
      • ‘After the husk is removed, the rice is milled to remove the bran and the germ or embryo.’
      • ‘Thiamine is found in whole-grain cereals, bread, red meat, egg yolks, green leafy vegetables, legumes, sweet corn, brown rice, berries, yeast, the germ and husks of grains and nuts.’
      • ‘Then there is the seed germ which is 45-55% protein, used in confectionery and flour for the health food market, and also in specialised livestock diets.’
      • ‘This process destroys the germ and prevents the kernel from sprouting.’
      • ‘It contains all parts of the grain - the bran, the outer husk and the germ.’
      • ‘Parching destroys the germ so the seed will not sprout, hardens the kernel, and loosens the tight hull so it can be removed.’
      • ‘Whole grain foods are made with all three parts of the grain kernel - the fibre-rich outer bran layer, the middle endosperm and the inner germ.’
      • ‘Then the corn is coarsely ground to break the germ loose from other kernel components.’
      • ‘The hulls and germ float to the surface and the kernels swell, doubling or even tripling in size, creating a different form of corn known as ‘hominy.’’
      • ‘At the tip there are sparse, fine hairs, and inside the base, where the seed is attached to the ear, is the embryo or germ, which will grow into a new plant if allowed to.’
      • ‘The manufacturing process frees the germ from the soybean, using 400 pounds of soybean seed to yield one pound of soy germ.’
      • ‘Whole-grain breads are far superior to whites that have been denuded of bran, endosperm and germ.’
      • ‘Refined white flour is what's left after the nutrient-packed germ and bran are milled out of the wheat kernel.’
      • ‘All grains have a bark-like, protective hull beneath which are the endosperm, germ, and bran.’
      • ‘It removes the bran and most of the germ, stripping the grain of its fiber and nutrients.’
      • ‘It has three main parts: the germ, the endosperm and the bran.’
    2. 2.2An initial stage from which something may develop.
      ‘the germ of a brilliant idea’
      • ‘Children in such families are quick to be inoculated with the germ of duplicity.’
      • ‘In his latest show, for example, he has developed the simple germ of an idea into a half-hour routine on his annoyance at having people to stay.’
      • ‘The germ of democratic thought had insinuated itself.’
      • ‘It's not hard to see the germ of something useful in what on the surface appear to be self-defeating patterns of behavior.’
      • ‘The germ of the idea slowly matured in Godfrey's mind.’
      • ‘The germ of an idea sprouted in his mind: maybe, instead of highlighting the drama of the story, the film should highlight the absurdity of it.’
      • ‘And the story endures because it contained a germ of truth about politics.’
      • ‘But it certainly appears to contain the germ of the principle of betterment, and it is clear that the principle is by no means a recent innovation.’
      • ‘Families often inherit a negative thinking style that carries the germ of depression.’
      • ‘Here we see the germ of a practice which later on developed into the European feudal system.’
      • ‘Although accompanied some of the time by his posh, dull, white bread girlfriend, a germ of doubt grows in the mind of the audience.’
      • ‘With the germ of an idea in mind, he boarded a plane to China in search of the products.’
      • ‘But the germ of truth in it is that you don't get any more misinformation in two ID papers than in one: it's the same old same old.’
      • ‘The germs of these ideas, the roots of my own thought, are in Western philosophy and science rather than Oriental philosophy.’
      • ‘The germ of this is clear in the 17th century itself.’
      • ‘The question contains a germ of truth, but it misses some essential features of the analysis.’
      • ‘Often the result is something they can use in their story, or that contains the germ of an idea or phrase that can drive the reporting and writing of a story in an exciting new direction.’
      • ‘The germ of his falling-out with his beloved Wagner lay in his growing awareness of Wagner's personal ignobility and malevolence.’
      • ‘"There's a germ of a really good idea, " he says.’
      • ‘The germ of divisiveness was planted many years ago way back in 1939, and unity of the movement has only come in fleetingly short spurts since then.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in germ): via Old French from Latin germen seed, sprout. germ dates from the late 19th century.

Pronunciation:

germ

/dʒəːm/