[kok-sahy, -see]


[kok-uh s]
noun, plural coc·ci [kok-sahy, -see] /ˈkɒk saɪ, -si/.
  1. Bacteriology. a spherical bacterium.
  2. Botany. one of the carpels of a schizocarp.

Origin of coccus

1755–65; < New Latin < Greek kókkos grain, seed, berry
Related formscoc·cal, coc·cic [kok-sik] /ˈkɒk sɪk/, adjectivecoc·cous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cocci

Historical Examples of cocci

British Dictionary definitions for cocci


  1. the plural of coccus


noun plural -ci (-saɪ)
  1. any spherical or nearly spherical bacterium, such as a staphylococcusCompare bacillus (def. 1), spirillum (def. 1)
  2. the part of a fruit that contains one seed and separates from the whole fruit at maturity
  3. any of the scale insects of the genus Coccus
Derived Formscoccoid, coccal or coccic (ˈkɒksɪk), adjectivecoccous, adjective

Word Origin for coccus

C18: from New Latin, from Greek kokkos berry, grain
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 cocci

spherical-shaped bacteria, plural of Latin coccus, from Greek kokkos "berry" (see cocco-).



1763 as an insect genus (including the cochineal bug); 1883 as a type of bacterium, from Greek kokkos "grain, seed, berry" (see cocco-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cocci in Medicine


n. pl. coc•ci (kŏksī, kŏkī)
  1. A bacterium of round, spheroidal, or ovoid form.
Related formscoccoid′ (kŏkoid′) null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

cocci in Science


Plural cocci (kŏksī, kŏkī)
  1. Any of various bacteria having a round or ovoid form such as streptococcus or staphylococcus, usually grouped in chains.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.