[ pen-uh-sil-ee-uh m ]
/ ˌpɛn əˈsɪl i əm /

noun, plural pen·i·cil·li·ums, pen·i·cil·li·a [pen-uh-sil-ee-uh] /ˌpɛn əˈsɪl i ə/.

any fungus of the genus Penicillium, certain species of which are used in cheesemaking and as the source of penicillin.

Origin of penicillium

1925–30; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin pēnicill(us) brush (see pencil) + -ium -ium Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for penicillium

British Dictionary definitions for penicillium


/ (ˌpɛnɪˈsɪlɪəm) /

noun plural -cilliums or -cillia (-ˈsɪlɪə)

any ascomycetous saprotrophic fungus of the genus Penicillium, which commonly grow as a green or blue mould on stale food: some species are used in cheese-making and others as a source of penicillin

Word Origin for penicillium

C19: New Latin, from Latin pēnicillus tuft of hairs; named from the tufted appearance of the sporangia of this fungus
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 penicillium (1 of 2)


[ pĕn′ĭ-sĭlē-əm ]

n. pl. pen•i•cil•li•ums

Any of various bluish-green fungi of the genus Penicillium that grow as molds on decaying fruits and ripening cheese and are used in the production of penicillin.

Medicine definitions for penicillium (2 of 2)



A genus of fungi of the class Ascomycetes, some species of which yield several antibiotic substances and biologics.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for penicillium


[ pĕn′ĭ-sĭlē-əm ]

Plural penicilliums penicillia

Any of various bluish-green fungi of the genus Penicillium, that grow as molds on decaying fruits, ripening cheeses, and bread, and are used to produce penicillin and certain other antibiotics.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.