a microorganism, esp. one that causes disease.
a portion of an organism capable of developing into a new one or part of one. Compare with germ cell.
the embryo in a cereal grain or other plant seed. Compare with wheat germ.
an initial stage from which something may develop:
the germ of a brilliant idea.
adj. ( inf. , in sense 1).
, berm, confirm, firm, germ, herm, midterm, perm, sperm, squirm, term, therm, worm
•pachyderm • echinoderm
•wheatgerm • endosperm
•gymnosperm • isogeotherm
•ragworm • flatworm • threadworm
•silkworm • ringworm • inchworm
•blindworm • lobworm • roundworm
•slow-worm • screw worm
•bloodworm • lugworm • lungworm
germ (jerm) n.
any microorganism, especially one that causes disease. See also infection
rudimentary form. XVII. — (O)F. germe
:- L. germen
sprout. Preceded by germen
XVII, which remains in botanical use.
Popular term for any infectious agent. Germs can be bacteria, fungi or viruses. In biology, it denotes a rudimentary stage in plant growth.