specific epithet(redirected from specific epithets)
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in bacteriology, the second part of the name of a species; it is not, by itself, a name; the name of a bacterial species consists of two parts, the generic name and the specific epithet.
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The uncapitalized Latin adjective or noun that follows a capitalized genus name in binomial nomenclature and serves to distinguish a species from others in the same genus, as saccharum in Acer saccharum (sugar maple). Also called trivial name.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.