• synonyms


[ak-tin-oh-mahy-seez, ak-tuh-noh-]
noun, plural ac·tin·o·my·ces. Bacteriology.
  1. any of several saprophytic, filamentous, anaerobic bacteria of the genus Actinomyces, certain species of which are pathogenic for humans and animals.
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Origin of actinomyces

< New Latin (1877), equivalent to Greek aktino- actino- + mýkēs fungus (see myco-)
Related formsac·tin·o·my·ce·tal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for actinomyces

Historical Examples

  • Bollinger determined that the Actinomyces bovis (Streptothrix bovis) is the cause of actinomycosis in cattle in 1877.

    The Fundamentals of Bacteriology

    Charles Bradfield Morrey

  • The actinomyces gain access to the bone through a carious tooth or through the gum.

  • This organism, also called Streptothrix actinomyces, apparently stands midway between the bacteria and the molds.

  • The tumors and abscesses wherever they may be are all found to be the same in origin by the presence of the actinomyces fungus.

    Special Report on Diseases of Cattle

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • The actinomyces grains are, however, easily observed if the diseased tissue is carefully examined.

    Special Report on Diseases of Cattle

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

actinomyces in Medicine


  1. A genus of nonmotile, non-spore-producing, anaerobic to facultatively anaerobic bacteria pathogenic to humans.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.