[ sep-sis ]
See synonyms for sepsis on
  1. local or generalized invasion of the body by pathogenic microorganisms or their toxins: dental sepsis; wound sepsis.

Origin of sepsis

First recorded in 1855–60; from Greek sêpsis “decay”; compare sḗpein “to make rotten”

Words Nearby sepsis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sepsis in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sepsis


/ (ˈsɛpsɪs) /

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

Origin of 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

Scientific definitions for sepsis


[ sĕpsĭs ]

  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.

Other words from sepsis

  • septic adjective

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