noun Pathology.

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

Origin of sepsis

1855–60; < Greek sêpsis decay; compare sḗpein to make rotten Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sepsis

pyemia, sepsis, septicemia, septicopyemia, toxaemia, toxemia

Examples from the Web for sepsis

Contemporary Examples of sepsis

  • You have a festering wound in 90 degrees that, if it goes untreated, can lead to sepsis, and death.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Haiti's Grisly Problem

    Cyril Wecht

    January 19, 2010

Historical Examples of sepsis

British Dictionary definitions for sepsis



the presence of pus-forming bacteria in the body

Word Origin for sepsis

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sepsis in Medicine



n. pl. sep•ses (-sēz)

The presence of pathogenic organisms or their toxins in the blood or tissues.
The poisoned condition resulting from the presence of pathogens or their toxins.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

sepsis in Science



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