Try Our Apps


Words You've Been Using Wrong


[kok-uh s] /ˈkɒk əs/
noun, plural cocci
[kok-sahy, -see] /ˈkɒk saɪ, -si/ (Show IPA)
Bacteriology. a spherical bacterium.
Botany. one of the carpels of a schizocarp.
Origin of coccus
1755-65; < New Latin < Greek kókkos grain, seed, berry
Related forms
coccal, coccic
[kok-sik] /ˈkɒk sɪk/ (Show IPA),
coccous, adjective


a combining form representing coccus, in compound words:
streptococcus. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for coccus
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for coccus


noun (pl) -ci (-saɪ)
any spherical or nearly spherical bacterium, such as a staphylococcus Compare bacillus (sense 1), spirillum (sense 1)
the part of a fruit that contains one seed and separates from the whole fruit at maturity
any of the scale insects of the genus Coccus
Derived Forms
coccoid, coccal, coccic (ˈkɒksɪk) adjective
coccous, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from New Latin, from Greek kokkos berry, grain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for coccus

1763 as an insect genus (including the cochineal bug); 1883 as a type of bacterium, from Greek kokkos "grain, seed, berry" (see cocco-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
coccus in Medicine

coccus coc·cus (kŏk'əs)
n. pl. coc·ci (kŏk'sī, kŏk'ī)
A bacterium of round, spheroidal, or ovoid form.

coc'coid' (kŏk'oid') or coc'cal (kŏk'əl) adj.

-coccus suff.
A microorganism of spherical or spheroidal shape: streptococcus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
coccus in Science
Plural cocci (kŏk'sī, kŏk'ī)
Any of various bacteria having a round or ovoid form such as streptococcus or staphylococcus, usually grouped in chains.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for coccus

Difficulty index for coccus

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for coccus

Scrabble Words With Friends