Meaning of GERM in English


— germless , adj. — germlike , adj.

/jerrm/ , n.

1. a microorganism, esp. when disease-producing; microbe.

2. a bud, offshoot, or seed.

3. the rudiment of a living organism; an embryo in its early stages.

4. the initial stage in development or evolution, as a germ cell or ancestral form.

5. something that serves as a source or initial stage for subsequent development: the germ of an idea.


6. Pathol. of, pertaining to, or caused by disease-producing germs.

[ 1400-50; late ME germe germen shoot, sprout, by dissimilation from * genmen, equiv. to gen- (see GENITOR, GENUS) + - men resultative n. suffix) ]

Syn. 4. spark, root, bud, rudiment, seed.

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .