"We are also getting disconcerting signals from around the world, including recent news of the emergence and spread of the mcr-1 gene, which helps bacteria resist even some of our last-resort antibiotics. An infection with bacteria that sport this gene could be fatal, even in the best health care settings. "

This short passage is from one issue of Scientific American. I don't understand the meaning of "sport". Does it mean stimulate? Please help me.


One of the definitions of the word "sport" is a verb with a meaning similar to "display" or "wear". I just looked at a few dictionaries and it seems that many do not carry this definition, so it's understandable that it's eluded you (assuming you have actually looked at a dictionary).

eg "John was sporting his medal that he'd won in the tournament at the weekend"


in the transitive verb section (v.tr):

  1. To wear or have on one's body, especially prominently or ostentatiously: sports diamond earrings; sports a tattoo.

  2. To have as a prominent feature: a car sporting a new paint job.

In this context, it's synonymous with "have" or "carry".

  • Thanks! I looked up the word, but didn't find a reasonable definition. I think your second interpretation makes sense in this particular context. It could mean that bacteria which have some special characteristics. – Irene Liu Aug 11 '16 at 9:50
  • It literally just means that the bacteria has that gene. – Max Williams Aug 11 '16 at 10:02
  • 1
    Actually, to contradict my last sentence, it may, in this context, actually mean "displaying the effects of having that gene", rather than simply having the gene, ie the phenotype rather than the genotype. For example, a person with brown eyes might have a blue-eye gene, but not be sporting it. So yes, they may mean the characteristics, as you suggest. This is pure speculation on my part, however. – Max Williams Aug 11 '16 at 10:06
  • wow~ It becomes more interesting. You mean AA, Aa, or aa? something that we learn from biology class? If there is an "A" in the gene of bacteria, they will display corresponding features. – Irene Liu Aug 11 '16 at 10:19
  • I don't know, I'm purely speculating as to what the author may have meant: they either mean "having the gene" or "displaying the characteristics associated with the gene". – Max Williams Aug 11 '16 at 10:46

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