- 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
Examples from the Web for spirochete
By far the most important of these is the spirillum or spirochete of Obermeier, which has been already carefully described.
Word Origin and History for spirochete
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.