One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An organism that grows best at temperatures close to freezing.
- ‘Bacteria growing at low temperature are generally grouped into two categories, psychrotrophs and psychrophiles, both having the ability to grow at zero and subzero temperatures.’
- ‘Hoover initially went to the CRREL tunnel in search of ‘psychrophiles’ - organisms that live only at extremely low temperatures.’
- ‘Psychrophilic enzymes are present in psychrophiles, organisms that have adapted to very cold climates, such as those microorganisms living in the Artic and Antarctic regions.’
1920s: from Greek psukhros ‘cold’ + -phile.
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