- any of various spiral-shaped motile bacteria of the family Spirochaetaceae, certain species, as Treponema, Leptospira, and Borrelia, being pathogenic to humans and other animals, and other species being free-living, saprophytic, or parasitic.
Origin of spirochete
1875–80; < New Latin spīrochaeta. See spiro-2, chaeta-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any of a group of spirally coiled rodlike bacteria that includes the causative agent of syphilisSee treponema
C19: from New Latin spīrochaeta; see spiro- ², chaeta
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 spirochaete
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Any of various slender, spiral, motile bacteria of the order Spirochaetales, many of which are pathogenic, causing syphilis, relapsing fever, yaws, and other diseases.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Any of various bacteria of the order Spirochaetales that are shaped like a spiral, such as Treponema pallidum, the pathogen that causes syphilis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.