spirochete

or spi·ro·chaete

[ spahy-ruh-keet ]
/ ˈspaɪ rəˌkit /

noun

any of various spiral-shaped motile bacteria of the phylum Spirochaetes, distinguished by twisting flagella that run lengthwise between the bacterium’s inner and outer membranes, and inclusive of the family Spirochaetaceae, noted for certain pathogenic species that cause Lyme disease, syphilis, and other illnesses.

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Origin of spirochete

First recorded in 1875–80; <New Latin spīrochaeta. See spiro-2, chaeta

OTHER WORDS FROM spirochete

spi·ro·chet·al, spi·ro·che·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for spirochete

Medical definitions for spirochete

spirochete
[ spīrə-kēt′ ]

n.

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.

Scientific definitions for spirochete

spirochete
[ spīrə-kēt′ ]

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.