- to affect or contaminate (a person, organ, wound, etc.) with disease-producing germs.
- to affect with disease.
- to taint or contaminate with something that affects quality, character, or condition unfavorably: to infect the air with poison gas.
- to corrupt or affect morally: The news of the gold strike infected him with greed.
- to imbue with some pernicious belief, opinion, etc.
- to affect with a computer virus.
- to affect so as to influence feeling or action: His courage infected the others.
- Law. to taint with illegality, or expose to penalty, forfeiture, etc.
- to become infected.
- Archaic. infected.
Origin of infect
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to cause infection in; contaminate (an organism, wound, etc) with pathogenic microorganisms
- (also intr) to affect or become affected with a communicable disease
- to taint, pollute, or contaminate
- to affect, esp adversely, as if by contagion
- computing to affect with a computer virus
- mainly international law to taint with crime or illegality; expose to penalty or subject to forfeiture
- archaic contaminated or polluted with or as if with a disease; infected
C14: from Latin inficere to dip into, stain, from facere to make
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 infectant
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- To contaminate with a pathogenic microorganism or agent.
- To communicate a pathogen or disease to another organism.
- To invade and produce infection in an organ or body part.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.