Etymology
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bacterium (n.)

c. 1848, singular of bacteria (q.v.).

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Definitions of bacterium

bacterium (n.)
(microbiology) single-celled or noncellular spherical or spiral or rod-shaped organisms lacking chlorophyll that reproduce by fission; important as pathogens and for biochemical properties; taxonomy is difficult; often considered to be plants;
Synonyms: bacteria
From wordnet.princeton.edu