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coccus

1

[ kok-uhs ]

noun

, plural coc·ci [kok, -sahy, -see].
  1. Bacteriology. a spherical bacterium.
  2. Botany. one of the carpels of a schizocarp.


-coccus

2
  1. a combining form representing coccus in compound words:

    streptococcus.

coccus

/ ˈkɒkəs; ˈkɒksɪk /

noun

  1. any spherical or nearly spherical bacterium, such as a staphylococcus Compare bacillus spirillum
  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


coccus

/ kŏkəs /

, Plural cocci kŏksī,kŏkī

  1. Any of various bacteria having a round or ovoid form such as streptococcus or staphylococcus , usually grouped in chains.


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Derived Forms

  • ˈcoccous, adjective
  • ˈcoccoid, adjective
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Other Words From

  • coccal coc·cic [kok, -sik], adjective
  • coccous adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of coccus1

1755–65; < New Latin < Greek kókkos grain, seed, berry
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Word History and Origins

Origin of coccus1

C18: from New Latin, from Greek kokkos berry, grain
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Example Sentences

They are all species or varieties of the Linnean order Hemiptera, and genus Coccus.

A bacillus, however short, can usually be distinguished from a coccus in that two sides are parallel.

The Polish kermes (Coccus polonicus) was formerly used very much in Europe.

The Coccus sinensis produces a kind of wax which is employed in China in the manufacture of candles.

The principal varieties of kermes are the coccus quercus, the coccus polonicus, the coccus fragariæ, and the coccus uva ursi.

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Words That Use -coccus

What does -coccus mean?

The combining formcoccus is used like a suffix meaning “coccus.” Coccus is a scientific term with two meanings. In terms from bacteriology, it means “spherical bacterium.” In terms from botany, it refers to the mericarp, one segment of a schizocarp, a kind of fruit.

The form –coccus comes from Greek kókkos, meaning “grain, seed, or berry.” The Latin equivalent of kókkos is grānum, “grain” or “seed,” which is the source of words such as grain, granite, and granular. Discover more at our entry for each word.

What are variants of –coccus?

While –coccus doesn’t have any variants, it is related to the form coccal, as in streptococcal. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use article for –coccal.

Examples of -coccus

An example of a word you may have encountered that features –coccus is streptococcus, the type of bacteria that can cause such illnesses as scarlet fever and strep throat. Streptococcus comes from Latin, which uses the equivalent form in that language.

Strepto means “twisted,” from Greek streptós, while the form –coccus means “coccus.” Streptococcus literally translates to “twisted coccus.”

What are some words that use the equivalent of the combining form –coccus in Latin?

What are some other forms that –coccus may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form micro means “small.” With this in mind, what does the name of the bacteria micrococcus literally mean?

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