Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "germ" []

  • Biology A small mass of protoplasm or cells from which a new organism or one of its parts may develop. (noun)
  • The earliest form of an organism; a seed, bud, or spore. (noun)
  • A microorganism, especially a pathogen. (noun)
  • Something that may serve as the basis of further growth or development: the germ of a project. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "germ" in a sentence
  • "[Footnote: In some cases of sexless multiplication the germ is a cell-aggregate -- if we call germ only that which is already detached from the parent organism.]"
  • "It is believed that cryptorchidism results from a defect in germ cell maturation in the undescended testis."
  • "Among the 38 was a testis-specific cell-adhesion gene (tpx-1) involved in germ cell maturation and sperm tail formation."