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bacterium

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English

Etymology

Ancient Greek βακτήριον (bakterion), small staff).

Pronunciation

Noun

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Singular
bacterium

Plural
bacteria

bacterium (bacteria)
  1. (microbiology) A single celled organism with no nucleus or organelles.

Usage notes

Bacterium is the singular form of the word. While the plural bacteria is often used as if it were the singular, this is nonstandard. See the examples below.

  • Standard usage
    Scientists have discovered a bacterium that infects cattle.
    There are millions of bacteria on every square inch of your skin.
  • Nonstandard usage
    * The common cold is caused by a virus, not a bacteria.
    * The bacteria in the wound causes infection.

Translations

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