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See more synonyms for infective on Thesaurus.com
  1. infectious.
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Origin of infective

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Medieval Latin word infectīvus. See infect, -ive
Related formsin·fec·tive·ness, in·fec·tiv·i·ty, nounun·in·fec·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for infective

toxic, contagious, virulent, deadly, destructive, fatal, malignant, pernicious, noxious, dangerous, vicious, lethal, venomous, endemic, taking, pandemic, epidemic, bad, evil, poison

Examples from the Web for infective

Historical Examples of infective

  • Is not this the way that infective diseases have appeared on the earth from age to age?

    Experiments on Animals

    Stephen Paget

  • It was no new thing to say, or to guess, that phthisis was or might be infective.

  • As with typhoid, so with Malta fever, cholera, and some other infective diseases.

  • But morbus pauperum is not the only principle of infective disease.

  • Nor does the blood imbibed by the flea cease to be infective when it passes from the stomach.

    The Flea

    Harold Russell

British Dictionary definitions for infective


  1. capable of causing infection
  2. a less common word for infectious
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Derived Formsinfectively, adverbinfectiveness or infectivity, 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 infective


late 14c., from Latin infectivus, from infectus (see infect).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

infective in Medicine


  1. Capable of producing infection; infectious.
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Related formsin•fective•ness null n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.