Germ cell
Germ Germ (j[~e]rm), n. [F. germe, fr. L. germen, germinis, sprout, but, germ. Cf. {Germen}, {Germane}.] 1. (Biol.) That which is to develop a new individual; as, the germ of a fetus, of a plant or flower, and the like; the earliest form under which an organism appears. [1913 Webster]

In the entire process in which a new being originates . . . two distinct classes of action participate; namely, the act of generation by which the germ is produced; and the act of development, by which that germ is evolved into the complete organism. --Carpenter. [1913 Webster]

2. That from which anything springs; origin; first principle; as, the germ of civil liberty. [1913 Webster]

3. (Biol.) The germ cells, collectively, as distinguished from the somatic cells, or {soma}. Germ is often used in place of germinal to form phrases; as, germ area, germ disc, germ membrane, germ nucleus, germ sac, etc. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

4. A microorganism, especially a disease-causing bacterium or virus; -- used informally, as, the don't eat food that falls on the floor, it may have germs on it. [PJC]

{Disease germ} (Biol.), a name applied to certain tiny bacterial organisms or their spores, such as {Anthrax bacillus} and the {Micrococcus} of fowl cholera, which have been demonstrated to be the cause of certain diseases; same as germ[4]. See {Germ theory} (below).

{Germ cell} (Biol.), the germ, egg, spore, or cell from which the plant or animal arises. At one time a part of the body of the parent, it finally becomes detached, and by a process of multiplication and growth gives rise to a mass of cells, which ultimately form a new individual like the parent. See {Ovum}.

{Germ gland}. (Anat.) See {Gonad}.

{Germ stock} (Zo["o]l.), a special process on which buds are developed in certain animals. See {Doliolum}.

{Germ theory} (Biol.), the theory that living organisms can be produced only by the evolution or development of living germs or seeds. See {Biogenesis}, and {Abiogenesis}. As applied to the origin of disease, the theory claims that the zymotic diseases are due to the rapid development and multiplication of various bacteria, the germs or spores of which are either contained in the organism itself, or transferred through the air or water. See {Fermentation theory}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Germ cell — Germ cells are progenitors of the gametes. These singled out cells move through the gut to the developing gonads and undergo mitotic proliferation followed by meiosis and differentiation into either eggs or sperm (mature gametes). Plants do not… …   Wikipedia

  • Germ cell — (Biol.) A cell, of either sex, directly concerned in the production of a new organism. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • germ cell — germ′ cell n. cbl a sexual reproductive cell at any stage from the primordial cell to the mature gamete • Etymology: 1850–55 …   From formal English to slang

  • germ cell — n. any of various cells, esp. an egg or sperm cell, from which a new organism can develop: opposed to SOMATIC CELL …   English World dictionary

  • germ cell — Cell specialized to produce haploidgametes. The germ cell line is often formed very early in embryonic development …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • germ cell — noun a spermatozoon or an ovum; a cell responsible for transmitting DNA to the next generation • Syn: ↑reproductive cell, ↑sex cell • Hypernyms: ↑cell • Hyponyms: ↑gamete • Part Holonyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Germ cell — The eggs and sperm are the germ cells: the reproductive cells. Each mature germ cell is haploid in that it has a single set of 23 chromosomes containing half the usual amount of DNA and half the usual number of genes. Except for the eggs and… …   Medical dictionary

  • germ cell — gemalinė ląstelė statusas T sritis augalininkystė apibrėžtis Nespecializuota stiebo ir šaknų augimo kūgelių, kaliaus ląstelė arba ląstelė, sudaranti meristemas. atitikmenys: angl. germ cell rus. зародышевая клетка …   Žemės ūkio augalų selekcijos ir sėklininkystės terminų žodynas

  • germ cell — A member of a cell lineage (the germ line) leading to the production of gametes. In mammals, germ cells are found in the germinal epithelium of the ovaries and testes. Synonym: germ line cell Opposite: somatic cell …   Glossary of Biotechnology

  • germ cell — Synonyms and related words: act of love, adultery, animal cell, aphrodisia, ass, balling, bioplast, carnal knowledge, cell, cellular tissue, cellule, chromatoplasm, climax, coenocyte, cohabitation, coition, coitus, coitus interruptus, commerce,… …   Moby Thesaurus

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