See more synonyms for infect on
verb (used with object)
  1. to affect or contaminate (a person, organ, wound, etc.) with disease-producing germs.
  2. to affect with disease.
  3. to taint or contaminate with something that affects quality, character, or condition unfavorably: to infect the air with poison gas.
  4. to corrupt or affect morally: The news of the gold strike infected him with greed.
  5. to imbue with some pernicious belief, opinion, etc.
  6. to affect with a computer virus.
  7. to affect so as to influence feeling or action: His courage infected the others.
  8. Law. to taint with illegality, or expose to penalty, forfeiture, etc.
verb (used without object)
  1. to become infected.
  1. Archaic. infected.

Origin of infect

1350–1400; Middle English infecten < Latin infectus (past participle of inficere to immerse in dye, discolor, taint, poison), equivalent to in- in-2 + -fec-, combining form of facere to do1, make (see fact) + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsin·fect·ant, adjectivein·fect·ed·ness, nounin·fec·tor, in·fect·er, nounnon·in·fect·ed, adjectivenon·in·fect·ing, adjectivepre·in·fect, verb (used with object)re·in·fect, verb (used with object)un·in·fect·ed, adjective
Can be confusedafflict infect inflictinfect infest invest

Synonyms for infect

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for infected

touch, affect, taint, poison, defile, influence, blight, vitiate, spoil, corrupt, disease

Examples from the Web for infected

Contemporary Examples of infected

Historical Examples of infected

  • This man had an infected leg that required some minor surgery.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Grushnitski appears to be very glad that she is not infected by my gaiety.

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

  • Why, even peace-loving Tubby seemed to be infected with some of it.

  • The truth is, Theaetetus, that we have long been infected with logical impurity.

  • Such was ever his fury in an engagement that it infected and inspired his followers.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for infected


verb (mainly tr)
  1. to cause infection in; contaminate (an organism, wound, etc) with pathogenic microorganisms
  2. (also intr) to affect or become affected with a communicable disease
  3. to taint, pollute, or contaminate
  4. to affect, esp adversely, as if by contagion
  5. computing to affect with a computer virus
  6. mainly international law to taint with crime or illegality; expose to penalty or subject to forfeiture
  1. archaic contaminated or polluted with or as if with a disease; infected
Derived Formsinfector or infecter, noun

Word Origin for infect

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 infected



late 14c., from Latin infectus, past participle of inficere "to spoil, stain," literally "to put in to, dip into," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + facere "perform" (see factitious). Related: Infected; infecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

infected in Medicine


  1. To contaminate with a pathogenic microorganism or agent.
  2. To communicate a pathogen or disease to another organism.
  3. 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.