[ spahy-ril-uhm ]

noun,plural spi·ril·la [spahy-ril-uh]. /spaɪˈrɪl ə/. Bacteriology.
  1. any of several spirally twisted, aerobic bacteria of the genus Spirillum, certain species of which are pathogenic for humans.

  2. any of various similar microorganisms.

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Origin of spirillum

1870–75; <New Latin, equivalent to Latin spīr(a) (see spire2) + -illum diminutive suffix

Other words from spirillum

  • spi·ril·lar, adjective

Words Nearby spirillum

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How to use spirillum in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for spirillum


/ (spaɪˈrɪləm) /

nounplural -la (-lə)
  1. any bacterium having a curved or spirally twisted rodlike body: Compare coccus (def. 1), bacillus (def. 1)

  2. any bacterium of the genus Spirillum, such as S. minus, which causes ratbite fever

Origin of spirillum

C19: from New Latin, literally: a little coil, from spīra a coil

Derived forms of spirillum

  • spirillar, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for spirillum


[ spī-rĭləm ]

Plural spirilla
  1. 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.