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[jur-muh n] /ˈdʒɜr mən/
noun, plural germens, germina
[jur-muh-nuh] /ˈdʒɜr mə nə/ (Show IPA).
a germ.
Origin of germen
From Latin, dating back to 1595-1605; See origin at germ Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for germen
Historical Examples
  • The pistil is generally divisible into the ovary or germen, the style and the stigma.

    On the Origin of Species Charles Darwin
  • germen oblong, striated, curved slightly outwards, but at length becoming erect and rugged.

    Lachesis Lapponica Carl von Linn
  • germen short, square, crowned with long white radiating down.

    Lachesis Lapponica Carl von Linn
  • In P. farinosa the germen is broadly obovate and the stigma capitate; here the germen is globose and the stigma has five points.

  • Mr. Berkeley found no difficulty, and had the stem impregnated as well as the germen.

    Fungi: Their Nature and Uses Mordecai Cubitt Cooke
  • So in Latin, canmen from cano was pronounced, and then written carmen; genmen from the obsolete γενω passed into germen.

    Elements of Gaelic Grammar Alexander Stewart
  • The globular part contains the pistil, which consists merely of a germen and stigma, together with the surrounding stamens.

British Dictionary definitions for germen


noun (pl) -mens, -mina (-mɪnə)
(biology, rare) the mass of undifferentiated cells that gives rise to the germ cells
Word Origin
C17: from Latin; see germ
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
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