Definition of meningococcus in US English:



  • A bacterium involved in some forms of meningitis and cerebrospinal infection.

    Neisseria meningitidis, a nonmotile spherical Gram-negative bacterium

    • ‘There's no vaccine available in the UK against the commonest cause of meningitis - Group B meningococcus.’
    • ‘The illness is caused by bacteria, called meningococci, which invade the linings of the brain, causing severe inflammation that can be fatal.’
    • ‘Because bacterial meningitis is most likely to occur in confined settings such as college dorms, some colleges ask that incoming students be vaccinated against meningococcus.’
    • ‘Overcrowding provides ideal conditions for transmission of meningococci.’
    • ‘Neisseria meningitidis, the meningococcus, is a globally distributed cause of bacterial meningitis and septicemia.’


Late 19th century: from meninges + coccus.