noun (plural penicillia)
A blue mould that is common on food, being added to some cheeses and used sometimes to produce penicillin.
More example sentences
- This is because the cheese maker has to let the air inside the cheese for the penicillium (the blue cheese mold) to develop.
- Since 1941, when the first bacterial infection was cured with a concoction derived from the fungus penicillium, we've depended on antibiotics to be there when we're sick.
- Identifying penicillia is relatively easy for a trained microbiologist; certifying that the substance ‘dissolving’ bacteria on petri dishes is true penicillin is quite a different matter.
mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Latin penicillus 'paintbrush' (because of the brush-like fruiting bodies).
Definition of penicillium in:
- The US English dictionary