Definition of bacteriophage in English:



  • A virus that parasitizes a bacterium by infecting it and reproducing inside it.

    ‘Suitable vectors are the DNAs of bacterial viruses or bacteriophages which naturally infect bacteria and replicate within them.’
    • ‘Those viruses, called bacteriophages, specifically infect bacteria, capture some of their genes, and transfer the genes from one microbe to the next.’
    • ‘For a subset of these viruses, including many tailed bacteriophages and the herpes viruses, the concatemers are cut at specific sites to generate unit-length virion chromosomes.’
    • ‘However, another promising approach is to use bacterial viruses knows as bacteriophages to produce vaccines very rapidly and cheaply.’
    • ‘The genome contains four sections inserted by bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria and splice their genes into the bacterial DNA.’



/bakˈtirēəˌfāj/ /bækˈtɪriəˌfeɪdʒ/


1920s from bacterium + Greek phagein ‘eat’.