Infection with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, characterized in humans by fever, gastrointestinal symptoms, and sometimes headache and convulsions, and in pregnant women often leading to miscarriage or stillbirth. In domestic animals it can cause encephalitis, septicemia, and abortion. The bacterium occurs as a contaminant in raw or improperly processed foods.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.