[sahy-uh-noh-bak-teer-ee-uh, sahy-an-oh-]
plural noun, singular cy·a·no·bac·te·ri·um [sahy-uh-noh-bak-teer-ee-uh m, sahy-an-oh-] /ˌsaɪ ə noʊ bækˈtɪər i əm, saɪˌæn oʊ-/. Biology.
  1. blue-green algae.

Origin of cyanobacteria

First recorded in 1975–80; cyano-1 + bacteria Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cyanobacteria

Contemporary Examples of cyanobacteria

  • For the past decade, he has used the phototropic properties of cyanobacteria to produce images in Petri dishes.

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    The Deadliest Art Ever

    Jaimie Etkin

    May 31, 2010

British Dictionary definitions for cyanobacteria


pl n singular -rium (-rɪəm)
  1. a group of photosynthetic bacteria (phylum Cyanobacteria) containing a blue photosynthetic pigmentFormer name: blue-green algae
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

cyanobacteria in Medicine


  1. A group of Procaryotae consisting of unicellular or filamentous gram-negative microorganisms that are either nonmotile or possess a gliding motility, may reproduce by binary fission, and photosynthetically produce oxygen; some species are capable of fixing nitrogen. Members of this phylum were formerly called blue-green algae.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

cyanobacteria in Science


Plural cyanobacteria
  1. Any of a phylum of photosynthetic bacteria that live in water or damp soil and were once thought to be plants. Cyanobacteria have chlorophyll as well as carotenoid and phycobilin pigments, and they conduct photosynthesis in membranes known as thylakoids (which are also found in plant chloroplasts). Cyanobacteria may exist as individual cells or as filaments, and some species live in colonies. Many species secrete a mucilaginous substance that binds the cells or filaments together in colored (often bluish-green) masses. Cyanobacteria exist today in some 7,500 species, many of which are symbiotes, and have lived on Earth for 2.7 billion years. Since all species produce oxygen as a byproduct of metabolism, it is thought that much of Earth's atmospheric oxygen can be attributed to cyanobacteria. Many species can also fix nitrogen and so play an important role in the nitrogen cycle. Also called blue-green alga
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.