• synonyms


verb (used with object)
  1. to cleanse (rooms, wounds, clothing, etc.) of infection; destroy disease germs in.
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Origin of disinfect

1590–1600; < Middle French desinfecter, equivalent to des- dis-1 + infecter to infect
Related formsdis·in·fec·tion, noundis·in·fec·tive, adjectivedis·in·fec·tor, nounre·dis·in·fect, verb (used with object)un·dis·in·fect·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

sterilize, decontaminate, cleanse, sanitize, purify, fumigate, deodorize, antisepticize

Examples from the Web for disinfected

Historical Examples

  • As best he could, he disinfected his other cuts and bandaged them.

    Creatures of Vibration

    Harl Vincent

  • All bags and utensils should also be disinfected with this formalin solution.

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study

    Ontario Ministry of Education

  • Decaying wood is to be removed, and the area cleaned out and disinfected.

    The Apple-Tree

    L. H. Bailey

  • Every other day all flat or projecting surfaces should be disinfected.

  • I could not let her see you till she had been disinfected after her chill for fear she might give it to you.

    The Romance of His Life

    Mary Cholmondeley

British Dictionary definitions for disinfected


  1. (tr) to rid of microorganisms potentially harmful to man, esp by chemical means
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Derived Formsdisinfection, noundisinfector, noun
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

Word Origin and History for disinfected



1590s, perhaps from French désinfecter (16c.), or formed in English from dis- + infect. Related: Disinfected; disinfecting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

disinfected in Medicine


  1. To cleanse something so as to destroy or prevent the growth of disease-carrying microorganisms.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.