[ staf-uh-luh-kok-uhs ]

noun,plural staph·y·lo·coc·ci [staf-uh-luh-kok-sahy]. /ˌstæf ə ləˈkɒk saɪ/. Bacteriology.
  1. any of several spherical bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus, occurring in pairs, tetrads, and irregular clusters, certain species of which, as S. aureus, can be pathogenic for humans.

Origin of staphylococcus

From New Latin, dating back to 1885–90; see origin at staphylo-, coccus

Other words from staphylococcus

  • staph·y·lo·coc·cal [staf-uh-luh-kok-uhl], /ˌstæf ə ləˈkɒk əl/, staph·y·lo·coc·cic [staf-uh-luh-kok-sik], /ˌstæf ə ləˈkɒk sɪk/, adjective

Words Nearby staphylococcus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use staphylococcus in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for staphylococcus


/ (ˌstæfɪləʊˈkɒkəs) /

nounplural -cocci (-ˈkɒkaɪ, US -ˈkɒksaɪ)
  1. any spherical Gram-positive bacterium of the genus Staphylococcus, typically occurring in clusters and including many pathogenic species, causing boils, infection in wounds, and septicaemia: family Micrococcaceae: Often shortened to: staph

Origin of staphylococcus

C19: from staphylo- (in the sense: like a bunch of grapes) + coccus so called because of their shape

Derived forms of staphylococcus

  • staphylococcal (ˌstæfɪləʊˈkɒkəl) or staphylococcic (ˌstæfɪləʊˈkɒkɪk, US -ˈkɒksɪk), 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 staphylococcus


[ stăf′ə-lō-kŏkəs ]

Plural staphylococci (stăf′ə-lō-kŏksī, -kŏkī)
  1. Any of various bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus that are gram-positive cocci and are normally found on the skin and mucous membranes of warm-blooded animals. Pathogenic strains such as S. aureus commonly cause infections of the skin, bones, lungs and other organs. Some staphylococcal disease, such as food poisoning, is caused by a toxin produced by the bacteria.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for staphylococcus


[ (staf-uh-loh-kok-uhs) ]

A category of bacteria that can cause boils, blood poisoning, and other serious infections.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.