spirochete

or spi·ro·chaete

[spahy-ruh-keet]
noun
  1. any of various spiral-shaped motile bacteria of the family Spirochaetaceae, certain species, as Treponema, Leptospira, and Borrelia, being pathogenic to humans and other animals, and other species being free-living, saprophytic, or parasitic.

Origin of spirochete

1875–80; < New Latin spīrochaeta. See spiro-2, chaeta-
Related formsspi·ro·chet·al, spi·ro·che·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of spirochete


Word Origin and History for spirochete
n.

1877, from Modern Latin Spirochæta, the genus name, from spiro- Modern Latin comb. form of Greek speira "a coil" (see spiral) + Greek khaite "hair" (see chaeto-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

spirochete in Medicine

spirochete

[spīrə-kēt′]
n.
  1. Any of various slender, spiral, motile bacteria of the order Spirochaetales, many of which are pathogenic, causing syphilis, relapsing fever, yaws, and other diseases.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

spirochete in Science

spirochete

[spīrə-kēt′]
  1. Any of various bacteria of the order Spirochaetales that are shaped like a spiral, such as Treponema pallidum, the pathogen that causes syphilis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.