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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Although none of these rocks contain fossils of shelled organisms, some of them do include fossils of single-celled microorganisms.
▪ Culturing microorganisms offers a highly efficient means of producing high-protein food supplements for a hungry world of the future.
▪ Ingestion is another means by which microorganisms gain entry to the body.
▪ The key is to get the temperature to 155 to 160 F to kill any harmful microorganisms.
▪ The new system can detect the presence of dangerous but invisible microorganisms like salmonella and e. coil bacteria.
▪ Then microorganisms and worms go to work eating the mixture and encouraging the decomposition that turns spoils into soil.
▪ This is a result of the fact that only a partial 16S sequence is available for these two cytoplasmic incompatibility microorganisms.
▪ Work involving contact with microorganisms, both in the laboratory and the mortuary setting, also puts staff at risk.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Microorganism \Mi`cro*["o]r"gan*ism\, n. [Micro- + organism.] (Biol.) Any microscopic form of life; a form of life too small to be seen by the naked eye; -- particularly applied to bacteria, protozoa, yeasts, and similar organisms, esp. such are supposed to cause infectious diseases.


n. (context microbiology English) An organism that is too small to be seen by the unaided eye, ''especially'' a single-celled organism, such as a bacterium.


n. any organism of microscopic size


A microorganism or microbe is a microscopic living organism, which may be single-celled or multicellular. The study of microorganisms is called microbiology, a subject that began with the discovery of microorganisms in 1674 by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, using a microscope of his own design.

Microorganisms are very diverse and include all bacteria, archaea and most protozoa. This group also contains some species of fungi, algae, and certain microscopic animals, such as rotifers. Many macroscopic animals and plants have microscopic juvenile stages. Some microbiologists also classify viruses (and viroids) as microorganisms, but others consider these as nonliving. In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of all life, including microorganisms, living on Earth.

Microorganisms live in every part of the biosphere, including soil, hot springs, "seven miles deep" in the ocean, "40 miles high" in the atmosphere and inside rocks far down within the Earth's crust (see also endolith). Microorganisms, under certain test conditions, have been observed to thrive in the vacuum of outer space. According to some estimates, microorganisms outweigh "all other living things combined thousands of times over". The mass of prokaryote microorganisms — which includes bacteria and archaea, but not the nucleated eukaryote microorganisms — may be as much as 0.8 trillion tons of carbon (of the total biosphere mass, estimated at between 1 and 4 trillion tons). On 17 March 2013, researchers reported data that suggested microbial life forms thrive in the Mariana Trench. the deepest spot in the Earth's oceans. Other researchers reported related studies that microorganisms thrive inside rocks up to below the sea floor under of ocean off the coast of the northwestern United States, as well as beneath the seabed off Japan. On 20 August 2014, scientists confirmed the existence of microorganisms living below the ice of Antarctica. According to one researcher, "You can find microbes everywhere — they're extremely adaptable to conditions, and survive wherever they are."

Microorganisms are crucial to nutrient recycling in ecosystems as they act as decomposers. As some microorganisms can fix nitrogen, they are a vital part of the nitrogen cycle, and recent studies indicate that airborne microorganisms may play a role in precipitation and weather. Microorganisms are also exploited in biotechnology, both in traditional food and beverage preparation, and in modern technologies based on genetic engineering. A small proportion of microorganisms are pathogenic, causing disease and even death in plants and animals.

Usage examples of "microorganism".

And thanks to the aeroplankton, everyone now had to own, and wear during the aeroplankton storms, filter-masks conveniently designed to filter out the microorganism and forty-seven varieties of industrial pollutants.

Moscow-region institutes into the Enzyme project: the Institute of Protein, the Institute of Molecular Biology, the Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms, and the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry.

The computer even has a symbiosis of sorts with its viruses, just as humans have coevolved with certain biological microorganisms.

He and the others aboard had taken the routine immunological treatments before departure, and the ship had been gone over by his own medics to avoid carrying dangerous microorganisms to a planet with only a primitive medical technology.

Patent and Trademark Office to grant a patent to a nonnatural, man-made microorganism that eats oil.

One of these symbiotic microorganisms is a protozoan named polymastigote, which moves around only because spirochete bacteria attach to it like tiny outboard motors.

The only known antidote was a spongelike lifeform native to the home of the microorganism.

RDNA labs outside of the city of Wuhan, and it was the four-hundredth viable strain of man-made microorganisms created at that research center.

There is concern about the larger life forms, many of whose remnants are saved in zoos, but there is yet little understanding that microorganisms, insects, and microscopic plant species are going also.

When pus formation has occurred it is an indication that the white blood corpuscles have successfully overcome the invading microorganisms.

The location should be sunny, level and open to the ground to permit earthworms and microorganisms to enter from below.

And all these furiously active microorganisms, with their cameras and microphones and antennae, were attaching themselves to my surface, worrying away at the membrane.

He had met trick pools like these before in caves, pools into which the water entered without bubbles to mark its current, the water so purified of those minerals and microorganisms that give it its tint of color.

I can feel the grime, elaborate microorganisms making a beeline up my neck, for my inner ear .

He wondered if microorganisms on Buin carried the equivalent of gangrene.