[ trep-uh-nee-muh ]
/ ˌtrɛp əˈni mə /

noun, plural trep·o·ne·mas, trep·o·ne·ma·ta [trep-uh-nee-muh-tuh] /ˌtrɛp əˈni mə tə/.

any of several anaerobic spirochetes of the genus Treponema, certain species of which are parasitic in and pathogenic for humans and warm-blooded animals.

Origin of treponema

1905–10; < New Latin: genus name < Greek trép(ein) to turn + -o- -o- + nêma thread

Related forms

trep·o·nem·a·tous [trep-uh-nem-uh-tuh s, -nee-muh-] /ˌtrɛp əˈnɛm ə təs, -ˈni mə-/, trep·o·ne·mal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for treponema

  • This disease is caused by a microorganism known as the spirochaeta pallida or treponema pallidum of Schaudinn and Hoffmann.

  • Postmortem examination always shows that the Treponema has wrought wide-spread damage in the brain.

    Being Well-Born|Michael F. Guyer
  • Syphilis is caused by Treponema pallidum, a small unicellular animal parasite.

    Being Well-Born|Michael F. Guyer

British Dictionary definitions for treponema


treponeme (ˈtrɛpəniːm)

/ (ˌtrɛpəˈniːmə) /

noun plural -nemas, -nemata (-ˈniːmətə) or -nemes

any anaerobic spirochaete bacterium of the genus Treponema, such as T. pallidum which causes syphilis

Derived Forms

treponematous (ˌtrɛpəˈnɛmətəs), adjective

Word Origin for treponema

C19: from New Latin, from Greek trepein to turn + nēma thread
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

Medicine definitions for treponema


[ trĕp′ə-nēmə ]


A genus of anaerobic spirochetes including species that cause syphilis, pinta, and yaws.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.