Definition of penicillium in English:


Syllabification: pen·i·cil·li·um
Pronunciation: /ˌpenəˈsilēəm

noun (plural penicillia /-ˈsilēə/)

  • A blue mold 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 brushlike fruiting bodies).

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