bacillus

[ buh-sil-uh s ]
/ bəˈsɪl əs /

noun, plural ba·cil·li [buh-sil-ahy] /bəˈsɪl aɪ/.

any rod-shaped or cylindrical bacterium of the genus Bacillus, comprising spore-producing bacteria.
(formerly) any bacterium.

Origin of bacillus

1880–85; < Late Latin, variant of Latin bacillum (diminutive of baculum) staff, walking stick
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bacilli

British Dictionary definitions for bacilli

bacillus
/ (bəˈsɪləs) /

noun plural -cilli (-ˈsɪlaɪ)

any rod-shaped bacterium, such as a clostridium bacteriumCompare coccus (def. 2), spirillum (def. 1)
any of various rodlike spore-producing bacteria constituting the family Bacillaceae, esp of the genus Bacillus

Word Origin for bacillus

C19: from Latin: a small staff, from baculum walking stick
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

Medicine definitions for bacilli (1 of 2)

bacillus
[ bə-sĭləs ]

n. pl. ba•cil•li (-sĭlī′)

Any of various rod-shaped, usually gram-positive aerobic bacteria of the genus Bacillus that often occur in chains and include Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax.
Any of various bacteria, especially a rod-shaped bacterium.

Medicine definitions for bacilli (2 of 2)

Bacillus

n.

A genus of rod-shaped gram-positive bacteria capable of producing endospores.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for bacilli

bacillus
[ bə-sĭləs ]

Plural bacilli (bə-sĭlī′)

Any of various pathogenic bacteria, especially one that is rod-shaped.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for bacilli

bacilli
[ (buh-sil-eye) ]

sing. bacillus

One of three forms of bacteria, usually rod-shaped.

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