From Middle Dutch kieme, kyme. Although the word is found as Old Dutch kīmo, it probably borrowed from Middle Low German kīme, Old Saxon kīmo because it did not undergo the regular change of -ī- to -ij- (so that *kijm would be expected). Possible influence of Latin cyma is also possible. Ultimately from Proto-Germanic *kīmô.
- (biology) seed, sprout, germ
- (figuratively) beginning, birth
- (pathology) germ (pathogen)
- (mathematics) germ
- in de kiem smoren — Eradicate from the start