A germ is a very, very small living organism. This is the thing that moves from one person to another in the transmission of a disease. The word "germ" is a noun. It’s usually used in the plural form: germs.

  • There are germs everywhere.
  • Germs do well in a warm, moist environment.
  • To look at a germ, you have to use a microscope.
  • Some people wear face masks at airports because they’re afraid of other people’s germs.
  • You should wash your hands after going to the bathroom to prevent the spread of germs.
  • A good mouthwash kills the germs that cause bad breath.
  • Please cover your mouth when you cough. No one wants your germs.
  • A cell phone is usually all full of germs.
  • A person who is sick should stay at home in bed so that he or she doesn’t spread germs around and make everyone else sick.

in bed

Sometimes the word "germy" is used as an adjective.

  • The children got their germy hands all over everything.
  • These bed sheets are all germy. They have to be washed.
  • Olivia avoids using public bathrooms because she doesn’t want to sit on a germy toilet seat.

There are two other things worth mentioning about the word "germ."

  • When someone first has an idea for something, it could be referred to as a germ of an idea. That’s how the idea begins.
  • Related to the word "germ" is the word "germination," which is a noun. Germination is the process by which seeds develop into plants. The word "germinate" is a verb. To germinate seeds is to put them into soil and keep them warm and moist. Eventually the seeds become plants.

Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.

November 8, 2015