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[staf-uh-luh-kok-uh s] /ˌstæf ə ləˈkɒk əs/
noun, plural staphylococci
[staf-uh-luh-kok-sahy] /ˌstæf ə ləˈkɒk saɪ/ (Show IPA).
any of several spherical bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus, occurring in pairs, tetrads, and irregular clusters, certain species of which, as S. aureus, can be pathogenic for humans.
Origin of staphylococcus
From New Latin, dating back to 1885-90; See origin at staphylo-, coccus
Related forms
[staf-uh-luh-kok-uh l] /ˌstæf ə ləˈkɒk əl/ (Show IPA),
[staf-uh-luh-kok-sik] /ˌstæf ə ləˈkɒk sɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for staphylococcus


noun (pl) -cocci (-ˈkɒkaɪ; US) (-ˈkɒksaɪ)
any spherical Gram-positive bacterium of the genus Staphylococcus, typically occurring in clusters and including many pathogenic species, causing boils, infection in wounds, and septicaemia: family Micrococcaceae Often shortened to staph
Derived Forms
staphylococcal (ˌstæfɪləʊˈkɒkəl), staphylococcic (ˌstæfɪləʊˈkɒkɪk; US) (-ˈkɒksɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from staphylo- (in the sense: like a bunch of grapes) + coccus so called because of their shape
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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Word Origin and History for staphylococcus

(plural staphylococci), 1887, Modern Latin, the genus name, coined (on model of streptococcus) in 1882 by Scottish surgeon and bacteriologist Alexander Ogston (1844-1929), from Greek staphyle "bunch of grapes" (see staff (n.)) + Modern Latin coccus "spherical bacterium," from Greek kokkos "berry, grain" (see cocco-). So called because the bacteria usually bunch together in irregular masses.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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staphylococcus in Medicine

staphylococcus staph·y·lo·coc·cus (stāf'ə-lō-kŏk'əs)
n. pl. staph·y·lo·coc·ci (-kŏk'sī, -kŏk'ī)
A spherical gram-positive parasitic bacterium of the genus Staphylococcus, usually occurring in clusters and causing boils, septicemia, and other infections.

staph'y·lo·coc'cal (-kŏk'əl) or staph'y·lo·coc·'cic (-kŏk'sĭk, -kŏk'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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staphylococcus in Science
Plural staphylococci (stāf'ə-lō-kŏk'sī, -kŏk'ī)
Any of various bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus that are gram-positive cocci and are normally found on the skin and mucous membranes of warm-blooded animals. Pathogenic strains such as S. aureus commonly cause infections of the skin, bones, lungs and other organs. Some staphylococcal disease, such as food poisoning, is caused by a toxin produced by the bacteria.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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staphylococcus in Culture
staphylococcus [(staf-uh-loh-kok-uhs)]

A category of bacteria that can cause boils, blood poisoning, and other serious infections.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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