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  1. any of numerous parasitic microorganisms of the class Mollicutes, comprising the smallest self-reproducing prokaryotes, lacking a true cell wall and able to survive without oxygen: a common cause of pneumonia and urinary tract infections.

Origin of mycoplasma

From New Latin, dating back to 1950–55; see origin at myco-, plasma
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for mycoplasma


  1. any prokaryotic microorganism of the genus Mycoplasma, some species of which cause disease (mycoplasmosis) in animals and humans
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

mycoplasma in Medicine


n. pl. my•co•plas•mas
  1. A bacterium of the genus Mycoplasma.pleuropneumonia-like organism
Related formsmy′co•plasmal adj.


  1. A genus of nonmotile parasitic pathogenic bacteria whose members lack a true cell wall, are gram-negative, and require sterols such as cholesterol for growth.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

mycoplasma in Science


  1. Any of a phylum of extremely small, parasitic bacteria that have a flexible cell membrane instead of a rigid cell wall, can assume a variety of shapes, are usually nonmotile, and are capable of forming colonies. Too small to be seen with a light microscope, mycoplasmas are thought to be the smallest organisms capable of independent growth. They are often pathogenic or parasitic in mammals and cause a number of important plant diseases, notably among citrus fruits. Mycoplasmas of the genus Mycoplasma are dependent upon sterols such as cholesterol for growth and cause several types of pneumonia in humans and animals. See also phytoplasma.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.