[strep-tuh-kok-uh s]

noun, plural strep·to·coc·ci [strep-tuh-kok-sahy, -see] /ˌstrɛp təˈkɒk saɪ, -si/. Bacteriology.

any of several spherical or oval bacteria of the genus Streptococcus, occurring in pairs or chains, certain species of which are pathogenic for humans, causing scarlet fever, tonsillitis, etc.

Origin of streptococcus

From New Latin, dating back to 1875–80; see origin at strepto-, coccus
Related formsstrep·to·coc·cal [strep-tuh-kok-uh l] /ˌstrɛp təˈkɒk əl/, strep·to·coc·cic [strep-tuh-kok-sik] /ˌstrɛp təˈkɒk sɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for streptococcus

Historical Examples of streptococcus

  • They were proved to contain the streptococcus or germ of erysipelas.

    Doctor Therne

    H. Rider Haggard

  • One blood culture revealed the presence of streptococcus in addition to Bacillus pestis.


    Thomas Wright Jackson

  • Strangles or distemper is, according to most pathologists, due to the Streptococcus equi.

    Lameness of the Horse

    John Victor Lacroix

  • Cultivations from the liver gave a pure growth of what appeared to be a typical (non-capsulated) Streptococcus pyogenes longus.

  • If the resulting growth resembles that of the streptococcus, make subcultivations upon nutrient agar.

British Dictionary definitions for streptococcus


noun plural -cocci (-ˈkɒkaɪ, US -ˈkɒksaɪ)

any Gram-positive spherical bacterium of the genus Streptococcus, typically occurring in chains and including many pathogenic species, such as S. pyogenes, which causes scarlet fever, sore throat, etc: family LactobacillaceaeOften shortened to: strep
Derived Formsstreptococcal (ˌstrɛptəʊˈkɒkəl) or rare streptococcic (ˌstrɛptəʊˈkɒkɪk, 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

Word Origin and History for streptococcus

bacteria genus, 1877, Modern Latin, coined by Viennese surgeon Albert Theodor Billroth (1829-1894) from Greek streptos "twisted" + Modern Latin coccus "spherical bacterium," from Greek kokkos "berry" (see cocco-). So called because the bacteria usually form chains.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for streptococcus



n. pl. strep•to•coc•ci (-kŏksī, -kŏkī)

A bacterium of the genus Streptococcus.
Related formsstrep′to•coccal null adj.



A genus of gram-positive, anaerobic, often pathogenic bacteria having an ovoid or spherical appearance and occurring in pairs or chains, including many erythrocytolytic and pathogenic species that cause erysipelas, scarlet fever, and septic sore throat in humans.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for streptococcus



Plural streptococci (strĕp′tə-kŏksī, -kŏkī)

Any of various bacteria of the genus Streptococcus that are gram-positive cocci and are normally found on the skin and mucous membranes and in the digestive tract of mammals. One type of streptococcus, Group A, is a common pathogen in humans and causes various infections, including strep throat, scarlet fever, pneumonia, and some types of impetigo.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for streptococcus



A category of bacteria that can cause various infections in humans, including scarlet fever and strep throat.

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.