Meaning of GERM in English


I. ˈjərm, ˈjə̄m, ˈjəim noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: French germe, from Latin germin-, germen, alteration of (assumed) Old Latin genmin-, genmen, from Latin gen-, stem of gignere to beget — more at kin


a. : a small mass of living substance capable of developing into an animal or plant or into an organ or part : bud , seed

supernumerary tooth germs may cause formation of supernumerary teeth — K.H.Thoma

b. : the embryo with the scutellum of a cereal grain that usually is separated from the starchy endosperm during the milling

the germ of the wheat grain is very rich in oil content — Leslie Smith


a. : something from which development takes place or that serves or may serve as an origin : beginning , rudiment

the Rule of St. Benedict … already contains the small germ of that freedom and movement which developed in every branch of life — R.W.Southern

b. : homoeomery 1

3. : microorganism

pathogenic bacteria are germs

virus germ

: microbe , disease germ

the cecal worm carries the germ of blackhead in turkeys — B.F.Kaupp & R.C.Surface

Synonyms: see microorganism

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

: germinate

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.