Definition of microbe in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmīˌkrōb/


A microorganism, especially a bacterium causing disease or fermentation.
Example sentences
  • A virus is a parasite, which needs a host cell to live in, and a microbe is a bacterium, which is a living cell in its own right.
  • These resistant microbes may include bacteria that were present from the start.
  • Bacteria and microbes in the soil and in the waste itself do a spectacular job of breaking down the waste.
microorganism, bacillus, bacterium, virus, germ
informal bug



Pronunciation: /mīˈkrōbik/
Example sentences
  • Perhaps the intelligence of Newton, who generalized Galileo's work to get solutions of many problems, will find its analog in the microbic development of the genome, which seems to guide the way most organisms evolve.
  • There is also fairly strong evidence that the first Viking landers of the 1970's did find some firm evidence of microbic life on the Red Planet.
  • The microbic sorbent is organized in granules, which are steady in water solutions for a long time.


Late 19th century: from French, from Greek mikros 'small' + bios 'life'.

  • Microbe is from French based on the Greek elements mikros ‘small’ and bios ‘life’. The word was coined by C. Sédillot in March 1878.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mi·crobe

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