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noun Pathology.
  1. local or generalized invasion of the body by pathogenic microorganisms or their toxins: dental sepsis; wound sepsis.
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Origin of sepsis

1855–60; < Greek sêpsis decay; compare sḗpein to make rotten
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for sepsis


  1. the presence of pus-forming bacteria in the body
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Word Origin

C19: via New Latin from Greek sēpsis a rotting; related to Greek sēpein to cause to decay
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 sepsis


1876, "putrefaction," from Modern Latin sepsis, from Greek sepsis "putrefaction," from sepein "to rot," of unknown origin.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sepsis in Medicine


n. pl. sep•ses (-sēz)
  1. The presence of pathogenic organisms or their toxins in the blood or tissues.
  2. The poisoned condition resulting from the presence of pathogens or their toxins.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

sepsis in Science


  1. 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.
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Related formsseptic adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.