Pronunciation: ( jûrm), [key]
1. a microorganism, esp. when disease-producing; microbe.
2. a bud, offshoot, or seed.
3. the rudiment of a living organism; an embryo in its early stages.
4. the initial stage in development or evolution, as a germ cell or ancestral form.
5. something that serves as a source or initial stage for subsequent development: the germ of an idea.
Pathol.of, pertaining to, or caused by disease-producing germs.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.