Definition of legionella in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌlējəˈnelə/

noun (plural legionellae /ˌlējəˈnelē/ /-ˈnelˌī/)

1The bacterium that causes legionnaires' disease, flourishing in air conditioning and central heating systems.
Example sentences
  • The disease kills one in 10 of those who contract it and is caused by legionella bacteria.
  • Infection occurs from exposure to legionellae organisms in the environment.
  • The legionella was discovered in the showers, water basins and toilets during a routine inspection.
1.1 informal Legionnaires' disease.
Example sentences
  • When antibiotics active against atypical pathogens were used, only pneumonia related to legionella showed a statistically significant improvement in outcome.
  • She stressed that the Health Board was satisfied, based on expert clinical advice and national protocols for managing legionella, that ‘there was and is no immediate danger to other patients, staff or visitors in the hospital’.


1970s: modern Latin, from legion + the diminutive suffix -ella.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: le·gion·el·la

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