Definition of fungus in English:



  • 1Any of a group of unicellular, multicellular, or syncytial spore-producing organisms feeding on organic matter, including molds, yeast, mushrooms, and toadstools.

    • ‘Active sodium export is a well-investigated phenomenon in bacteria, fungi and animals.’
    • ‘The best thing to do with old cherry trunks is to let them lie in the woods, rotting down to feed fungi and invertebrates.’
    • ‘The funguses in which penicillin was discovered use it to kill bacteria which might compete with them for food.’
    • ‘In season, a wider variety of fungi, including chanterelles, is perfect.’
    • ‘Bacteria, fungi and plants synthesize pantothenate, but animals obtain it from their diet.’
    • ‘The ring is caused by one of several fungi that grow on organic matter in the soil.’
    • ‘The combination of air and wet silage and heat make an ideal environment for yeasts and fungi to multiply.’
    • ‘Jasmonic acid is likely to occur ubiquitously in the plant kingdom, and it has also been found in some fungi.’
    • ‘So-called sour rot is due to a mix of fungi, yeasts, acetic acid bacteria, and fruit fly larvae.’
    • ‘Sulphate assimilation is present in plants, algae, fungi, and many autotrophic prokaryotes.’
    • ‘As mycorrhizal fungi can extend for some distance out from the plant root, this region can be significant.’
    • ‘Data about antioxidative systems in mycorrhizal fungi in pure culture and in symbiosis are scarce.’
    • ‘Filamentous ascomycete fungi have nearly twice as many genes and are much more typical higher fungi than yeasts.’
    • ‘One side was fence, the other a swamp, a mire skewered by rotting birch trunks bracketed by hard tinder fungi.’
    • ‘Now I've got to tell you I'm no expert in mushrooms toadstools and fungi in general.’
    • ‘There's a variety of mushrooms and other fungi about too, for the budding amateur mycologist.’
    • ‘Bacteria and fungi are largely responsible for the breakdown of organic matter on Earth.’
    • ‘Endophytic bacteria and fungi act both as growth promoters and as biocontrol agents.’
    • ‘Carotenoid pigments are synthesized by all higher plants, algae, and some bacteria and fungi.’
    • ‘It may be less well known that ethylene is also produced naturally by bacteria and fungi.’
    mushroom, toadstool
    mould, mildew, rust, fungal disease, rot, decay
    mycelium, saprophyte
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Fungal infection (especially on fish)
      • ‘A few years back my nurse practitioner confirmed that one of my toenails was infected with fungus.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Black Sigatoka fungus, while only recently reported in Florida, has been affecting crops in the developing world for years.’
      • ‘Moisture condensation can cause fungus and mold infection.’
      • ‘An infection of nail fungus occurs when fungi infect one or more of your nails.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It can be caused by a bacteria, fungus, or parasite.’
      • ‘The Scottish Executive outlawed malachite green, widely used by fish farmers to treat fungus in salmon, on June 11.’
      • ‘One of the greatest challenges for hatchery managers is to control the spread of fungus on fish held in captivity, particularly during autumn.’
      • ‘I have fungus on my toenails, and I don't want anyone to see my feet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Most healthy people who are infected with this fungus never have any symptoms, because their bodies fight off the disease.’
      • ‘Bight, fungus, bacterial infection - the vulnerable tomatoes were threatened at every sprout.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A dye called Malachite green, used to treat fungus on fish, is carcinogenic.’
      • ‘The symptoms and appearances of a fungal skin infection depend on the type of fungus causing it and the part of the body affected.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Artificial nails present a situation that is ideal for infection by fungus and bacteria, especially when they are left on too long.’
      • ‘Many of them were caused by fungus and parasites in the water.’
    2. 1.2[in singular]Used to describe something that has appeared or grown rapidly and is considered unpleasant or unattractive.
      ‘there was a fungus of outbuildings behind the house’
      • ‘There are at least six billion reasons to dislike the soul-draining fungus that is that famous singer, but we don't have all day, so I'm going to give you five.’
      • ‘And divorce lawyers are the fungus that grows beneath that scum.’
      • ‘Religious zealotry is a fungus growing out of the decay of high secular ideals.’


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