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[sep-tik] /ˈsɛp tɪk/
adjective, Pathology.
pertaining to or of the nature of sepsis; infected.
Origin of septic
1595-1605; < Latin sēpticus < Greek sēptikós, equivalent to sēpt(ós) rotted + -ikos -ic
Related forms
septically, adverb
[sep-tis-i-tee] /sɛpˈtɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
nonseptic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for septic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Syphons, for automatic discharge, 225;for septic tanks, 229.

    Rural Hygiene Henry N. Ogden
  • One is for septic pneumonia, the other for the removal of the lungs.

    Aladdin of London

    Sir Max Pemberton
  • The blood he had received was without doubt not only splenic but also septic.

    Louis Pasteur Ren Vallery-Radot
  • It will be found full of septic vibrios in process of generation by fission.

    Louis Pasteur Ren Vallery-Radot
  • It is thus that a dust of septic germs can be formed even in contact with air.

    Louis Pasteur Ren Vallery-Radot
  • Josephina owns one unchanging dress, septic, maculate and repellent.

    I, Mary MacLane Mary MacLane
  • It lays the orbit open to the possibility of septic infection.

British Dictionary definitions for septic


of, relating to, or caused by sepsis
of, relating to, or caused by putrefaction
(Austral & NZ, informal) short for septic tank
Derived Forms
septically, adverb
septicity (sɛpˈtɪsɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin sēpticus, from Greek sēptikos, from sēptos decayed, from sēpein to make rotten
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for septic

c.1600, from Latin septicus "of or pertaining to putrefaction," from Greek septikos "characterized by putrefaction," from sepein "make rotten or putrid, cause to rot" (see sepsis). Septic tank is attested from 1902.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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septic in Medicine

septic sep·tic (sěp'tĭk)

  1. Of, relating to, having the nature of, or affected by sepsis.

  2. Causing or producing sepsis; putrefactive.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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septic in Science
A severe infection caused by pathogenic organisms, especially bacteria, in the blood or tissues. If untreated, a localized infection, as in the respiratory or urinary tracts, can lead to infection in the bloodstream and widespread inflammation, characterized initially by fever, chills, and other symptoms and later by septic shock.

septic adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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