germ-, germi- +
(Latin: bud, sprout, a growing thing in its early stages)
2. A pathogenic microorganism or a microbe capable of causing a disease: "The germ theory of disease held that these minute bodies could cause disease which turned out to be verified (true)."
3. Etymology: the germ is a simple word that came to us from Latin germen, meaning "a sprout, a bud", or "an offshoot".
"In all of its meanings, the term germ retains the idea of developing into something more mature."
2. An agent that kills pathogenic micro-organisms.
2. Destructive to germs.
2. Referring to, relating to, or occurring in the earliest stage of development: "We were active in the germinal phase of the project."
2. To be created and start to develop: "At the beginning, the seeds of doubt germinated and almost brought our efforts to a close."
2. The process where a seed, spore, or zygote begins to sprout, to grow, or to develop; usually after it has been dormant for a time while waiting for the right growing conditions.
3. The first outward sign of growth of a reproductive body; such as, a spore or pollen grain.
The term is commonly applied to seeds, in which germination is determined by such external conditions as water availability, temperature, and light; as well as, internal biochemical status that is appropriate before germination can occur.
Seed germination may be either epigeal, in which the cotyledons appear above the ground; or hypogeal, in which the cotyledons remain below the ground.
2. The primitive cell in certain embryonic forms.