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spirochete Syllabification: spi·ro·chete
Pronunciation: /ˈspīrəˌkēt/
(British spirochaete)

Definition of spirochete in English:


A flexible spirally twisted bacterium, especially one that causes syphilis.
  • Treponema and other genera, order Spirochaetales; Gram-negative
Example sentences
  • Visit the Microbe Zoo for pictures and information about spirochetes and other bacteria which live in the cow rumen.
  • In its primary and secondary stages, syphilis induces raw, oozing genital sores in which the syphilis spirochetes multiply, eager to hitch a ride on the next sex partner.
  • The gut sections revealed not only bits of wood but also numerous protists and bacteria, including large spirochetes.


Late 19th century: from spiro-1 'in a spiral' + Greek khaitē 'long hair'.

Definition of spirochete in:
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