Pronunciation Noun

germ (plural germs)

  1. (biology) The small mass of cells from which a new organism develops; a seed, bud or spore.
  2. A pathogenic microorganism.
  3. The embryo of a seed, especially of a seed used as a cereal or grain. See Wikipedia article on cereal germ.
  4. (figurative) The origin of an idea or project.
    the germ of civil liberty
  5. (mathematics) An equivalence class that includes a specified function defined in an open neighborhood.
Translations Translations Translations
  • French: germe
  • Portuguese: germe
  • Russian: зача́ток
  • Portuguese: germe
  • Russian: за́вязь
  • Spanish: germen

germ (germs, present participle germing; past and past participle germed)

  1. To germinate.
    • O for a withering curse to blast the germing of their wicked machinations.
    • Thus tempted, the lust to avenge me / Germed inly and grew.
  2. (slang) To grow, as if parasitic.
    • 2011, Black Eyed Peas, Just Can't Get Enough
      I’m addicted, want to germ inside your love


germ (plural germs)

  1. (UK, slang, derogatory) a German person.

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