Definition of coccus in US English:

coccus

noun

Biology
  • Any spherical or roughly spherical bacterium.

    • ‘A gram-positive coccus was isolated from the bone marrow of a 5-year-old patient with leukemia.’
    • ‘Penicillin kills most gram negative cocci that cause gonorrhea and epidemic spinal meningitis.’
    • ‘The elongation phase of growth distinguishes bacilli from cocci, which grow and divide by pure septation.’
    • ‘Pathologic examination of the specimen revealed an organizing abscess with numerous bacterial cocci.’
    • ‘Major and limb-threatening infections may involve aerobic gram positive cocci, gram negative bacilli, anaerobes, and enterococci.’

Origin

Mid 18th century (denoting a scale insect): modern Latin, from Greek kokkos ‘berry’. Compare with cochineal.

Pronunciation

coccus

/ˈkɑkəs//ˈkäkəs/