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spirillum

[spahy-ril-uh m]
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noun, plural spi·ril·la [spahy-ril-uh] /spaɪˈrɪl ə/. Bacteriology.
  1. any of several spirally twisted, aerobic bacteria of the genus Spirillum, certain species of which are pathogenic for humans.
  2. any of various similar microorganisms.
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Origin of spirillum

1870–75; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin spīr(a) (see spire2) + -illum diminutive suffix
Related formsspi·ril·lar, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spirilla

Historical Examples

  • As early as 1873, spirilla were demonstrated in relapsing fever.

    The Evolution of Modern Medicine

    William Osler

  • The same takes place with the spirilla of recurrent typhus and the microbe of erysipelas.

  • When division occurs in one plane only, the possible groupings are the same as among the spirilla or bacilli.

    The Fundamentals of Bacteriology

    Charles Bradfield Morrey

  • Division might occur in one plane only as in spirilla and bacilli, or in two planes only or in all three planes.

    The Fundamentals of Bacteriology

    Charles Bradfield Morrey

  • These terms are rarely used, since spirilla do not ordinarily remain attached.

    The Fundamentals of Bacteriology

    Charles Bradfield Morrey


British Dictionary definitions for spirilla

spirillum

noun plural -la (-lə)
  1. any bacterium having a curved or spirally twisted rodlike bodyCompare coccus (def. 1), bacillus (def. 1)
  2. any bacterium of the genus Spirillum, such as S. minus, which causes ratbite fever
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Derived Formsspirillar, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin, literally: a little coil, from spīra a coil
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

Word Origin and History for spirilla

spirillum

n.

(plural spirilla), 1875, Modern Latin, diminutive of Latin spira (see spiral (adj.)). So called for their structure.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

spirilla in Medicine

spirillum

(spī-rĭləm)
n. pl. spi•ril•la (-rĭlə)
  1. A member of the genus Spirillum.
  2. Any of various other spiral-shaped microorganisms.
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Spirillum

n.
  1. A genus of large, aerobic, gram-negative bacteria having an elongated spiral form and a tuft of flagella.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

spirilla in Science

spirillum

[spī-rĭləm]
Plural spirilla
  1. Any of various bacteria that are shaped like a spiral, such as the spirochete Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.