Definitions for: Germ


[n] a minute life form (especially a disease-causing bacterium); the term is not in technical use
[n] a small simple structure (as a fertilized egg) from which new tissue can develop into a complete organism
[n] anything that provides inspiration for later work



Webster (1913) Definition: Germ, n. [F. germe, fr. L. germen, germinis, sprout, but,
germ. Cf. Germen, Germane.]
1. (Biol.) That which is to develop a new individual; as, the
germ of a fetus, of a plant or flower, and the like; the
earliest form under which an organism appears.

In the entire process in which a new being
originates . . . two distinct classes of action
participate; namely, the act of generation by which
the germ is produced; and the act of development, by
which that germ is evolved into the complete
organism. --Carpenter.

2. That from which anything springs; origin; first principle;
as, the germ of civil liberty.

Disease germ (Biol.), a name applied to certain tiny
bacterial organisms or their spores, such as Anthrax
bacillus and the Micrococcus of fowl cholera, which have
been demonstrated to be the cause of certain diseases. See
Germ theory (below).

Germ cell (Biol.), the germ, egg, spore, or cell from which
the plant or animal arises. At one time a part of the body
of the parent, it finally becomes detached,and by a
process of multiplication and growth gives rise to a mass
of cells, which ultimately form a new individual like the
parent. See Ovum.

Germ gland. (Anat.) See Gonad.

Germ stock (Zo["o]l.), a special process on which buds are
developed in certain animals. See Doliolum.

Germ theory (Biol.), the theory that living organisms can
be produced only by the evolution or development of living
germs or seeds. See Biogenesis, and Abiogenesis. As
applied to the origin of disease, the theory claims that
the zymotic diseases are due to the rapid development and
multiplication of various bacteria, the germs or spores of
which are either contained in the organism itself, or
transferred through the air or water. See {Fermentation
theory}.


Germ, v. i.
To germinate. [R.] --J. Morley.


Germ, n. (Biol.)
The germ cells, collectively, as distinguished from the
somatic cells, or soma. Germ is often used in place of
germinal to form phrases; as, germ area, germ disc, germ
membrane, germ nucleus, germ sac, etc.

Synonyms: bug, microbe, seed, source

See Also: anatomical structure, bodily structure, body structure, complex body part, inspiration, microorganism, muse, structure

Try our:
Scrabble Word Finder

Scrabble Cheat

Words With Friends Cheat

Hanging With Friends Cheat

Scramble With Friends Cheat

Ruzzle Cheat



Related Resources:
animals begin with k
animals begin with i