- any of several spirally twisted, aerobic bacteria of the genus Spirillum, certain species of which are pathogenic for humans.
- any of various similar microorganisms.
Origin of spirillum
1870–75; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin spīr(a) (see spire2) + -illum diminutive suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for spirillar
Unfortunately, the existence of spirillar infection of the blood was not known at the time.
C19: from New Latin, literally: a little coil, from spīra a coil
Word Origin and History for spirillar
(plural spirilla), 1875, Modern Latin, diminutive of Latin spira (see spiral (adj.)). So called for their structure.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- S-shaped. Used of a bacterial cell.
- A member of the genus Spirillum.
- Any of various other spiral-shaped microorganisms.
- A genus of large, aerobic, gram-negative bacteria having an elongated spiral form and a tuft of flagella.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Any of various bacteria that are shaped like a spiral, such as the spirochete Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.