1. a microorganism, especially 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. adjective
6. Pathology. of, relating to, or caused by disease-producing germs.
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