from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A bacillus (Escherichia coli) normally found in the human gastrointestinal tract and existing as numerous strains, some of which are responsible for diarrheal diseases. Other strains have been used experimentally in molecular biology.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Escherichia coli, a group of gram-negative bacteria, Escherichia, that reside in the intestinal tracts of humans and many animals. Many strains of these bacteria are harmful and can cause food poisoning (urinary infections and enteritis).
  • n. Entamoeba coli, a species of non-pathogenic amoeba, Entamoeba, that resides in the gastrointestinal tract of some animals, including humans.


New Latin E(scherichia) colī, species name : after Theodor Escherich (1857-1911), German physician + Latin colī, genitive of colon, colon; see colon2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Abbreviation of Escherichia ("genus of bacteria") + Latin coli, genitive of colum ("colon") (Wiktionary)
Abbreviation of Entamoeba ("genus of types of ameobas") + Latin coli, genitive of colum ("colon") (Wiktionary)


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