One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any small, especially rod-shaped, bacterium. Now rare.
2Specifically. Any member of the genus Microbacterium, comprising very small, chiefly saprophytic, coryneform Gram-positive rods; especially M. lacticum, a heat-resistant member of the bacterial flora of milk. Also (in form Microbacterium): the genus itself.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science. From micro- + bacterium, after German Mikrobakterie.
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