What's the origin of the term microbe? According to related definitions and topics, I think it may be micro + be. If it is, what does "be" stand for?
It comes from Greek, via French.
- microbe, etymology - late 19th century: from French, from Greek mikros ‘small’ + bios ‘life.’
- popular name for a bacterium, 1878, from French microbe, "badly coined ... by Sédillot" [Weekley] in 1878 from Greek mikros "small" (see mica) + bios "life" (see bio-). It is an incorrect use of bios; in Greek the word would mean literally "short-lived." Online Etymology Dictionary
Therefore, literally it means "small life" and "microscopic life" scientifically speaking.