What does the word germ mean?

Usage examples for germ

  1. No doubt there is a germ in me of something similar that makes response. – The Letters of William James, Vol. II by William James
  2. I prefer my music to be an outgrowth from a germ whose source I know, rather than a waif and stray which I fancy to be my own child when it was all the time begotten of a barrel organ. – The Note-Books of Samuel Butler by Samuel Butler

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