antiseptic

adjective
an·​ti·​sep·​tic | \ ˌan-tə-ˈsep-tik How to pronounce antiseptic (audio) \

Definition of antiseptic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : opposing sepsis, putrefaction, or decay especially : preventing or arresting the growth of microorganisms (as on living tissue) an antiseptic solution
b : acting or protecting like an antiseptic an antiseptic mouthwash
2 : relating to or characterized by the use of antiseptics antiseptic treatment
3a : scrupulously clean : aseptic antiseptic surgical instruments
b : extremely neat or orderly especially : neat to the point of being bare or uninteresting a spare, antiseptic waiting room
c : free from what is held to be contaminating an antiseptic version of rustic life
4a : coldly impersonal an antiseptic greeting
b : of, relating to, or being warfare conducted with cold precision from a safe distance with few or no casualties on one's side antiseptic bombings

antiseptic

noun

Definition of antiseptic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance that inhibits the growth or action of microorganisms especially in or on living tissue clean the wound with an antiseptic also : germicide

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Other Words from antiseptic

Adjective

antiseptically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce antiseptically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of antiseptic in a Sentence

Adjective

known for keeping a strenuously antiseptic kitchen, the floor of which does indeed seem fit for eating off of for such an expensive, elegant Sunday brunch, one would expect the attendants at the buffet tables to be professionally attired in starched, antiseptic white jackets

Noun

Clean the affected area with an antiseptic. He applied antiseptic to the wound.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

During that time you may be instructed to use an antiseptic mouthwash to keep the area clear of bacteria, Papapanou explains. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "What to Know Before, During, and After Your Gum Graft Surgery," 11 Mar. 2019 Where an antibacterial product kills off acne-causing bacteria, an antiseptic will prohibit the growth of that bacteria in the first place. Megan Mcintyre, Glamour, "This Face Wash Is the Only Thing That Helped My Acne," 29 Aug. 2018 Charcoal's purifying properties are well-documented—an antiseptic, the ancient Hindus used it to clean their water as far back as 400 B.C., and it's still used as a water purifier today; just look at your Brita. Fiorella Valdesolo, Town & Country, "Dark Star," 29 May 2014 The silver ions found in this wash have some serious antiseptic powers. Megan Mcintyre, Glamour, "This Face Wash Is the Only Thing That Helped My Acne," 29 Aug. 2018 The 1-inch by 3-inch moleskin pad provides relief for painful blisters, and the antiseptic pad and alcohol pad ensures wounds are clean. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "The 7 Best First Aid Kits For Any Situation," 26 July 2018 Ayumi Kuboki, 31, was arrested Saturday for the death of Sozo Nishikawa, 88, who was poisoned in 2016 with an antiseptic at Oguchi Hospital, The Asahi Shimbun and The Japan Times reported. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Nurse poisoned at least 20 ailing patients so they would die during someone else's watch," 10 July 2018 Other than treating any scrapes and bruises with antiseptic to stave off infection, there may be relatively common gastrointestinal problems that will also need to be watched. Dina Fine Maron, Scientific American, "Rescued Thai Boys Being Watched for Illnesses Caught from Cave Animals," 10 July 2018 Amber Listerine antiseptic has eucalyptus oil in it. Joe Graedon, M.s., And Teresa Graedon, Houston Chronicle, "Changing washcloths daily helps control acne," 23 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These are antiseptics which will help to prevent infection. 2. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "The Correct Way to Pop a Pimple," 21 Dec. 2018 As the importance of antiseptics became more widely understood, white was also thought to have the advantage of showing any soiling. The Economist, "Making medical clothing that kills bugs," 28 June 2018 Before antiseptics, many patients perished at the hands of their surgeon. Atlas Obscura, RedEye Chicago, "Explore Chicago: Visit the International Museum of Surgical Science," 17 Apr. 2018 Get our daily newsletter Of the drugs in the study, 156 were antibacterials (144 antibiotics and 12 antiseptics). The Economist, "Non-antibiotic drugs promote antibiotic resistance," 19 Mar. 2018 The surgery, performed without anesthesia or antiseptics, lasted just 25 minutes and produced a 22 ½ pound tumor. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "This woman rode 60 miles on horseback to have a 22-pound tumor removed," 15 Mar. 2018 Armies were burning or cutting off access to Pacific cane fields, and the war effort needed sugar to make everything from antiseptics to explosives. Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, Smithsonian, "The Unsavory History of Sugar, the Insatiable American Craving," 29 May 2017 Instead, go for gentler ingredients that are natural antiseptics and won't leave your skin red and dry. Marissa Desantis, Teen Vogue, "Pimple Popping: How to Do It Safely," 24 Aug. 2017 Whereas typical antibiotics and antiseptics indiscriminately kill all kinds of bacteria throughout the body and drive the evolution of highly dangerous microbes impervious to existing drugs, probiotics may be much more selective. Ferris Jabr, New York Times, "The Solution for Skin Ailments Could Be Right Under Your Nose," 26 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antiseptic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of antiseptic

Adjective

1746, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1751, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for antiseptic

Adjective

borrowed from New Latin antisepticus, from anti- anti- + Latin sēpticus "putrefactive, septic"

Note: New Latin antisepticus is first found in the writing of the Dutch physician Herman Boerhaave (1668-1738), e.g., Libellus de materie medica et remediorum formulis (Leiden, 1719), and may have been coined by him.

Noun

borrowed from New Latin antiseptica, antisepticum, noun derivatives of antisepticus antiseptic entry 1

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Statistics for antiseptic

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for antiseptic

The first known use of antiseptic was in 1746

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More Definitions for antiseptic

antiseptic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of antiseptic

: a substance that prevents infection in a wound by killing bacteria

antiseptic

adjective
an·​ti·​sep·​tic | \ ˌan-tə-ˈsep-tik How to pronounce antiseptic (audio) \

Kids Definition of antiseptic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: killing or preventing the growth or action of germs that cause decay or sickness Iodine is antiseptic.

antiseptic

noun

Kids Definition of antiseptic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance that helps stop the growth or action of germs

antiseptic

adjective
an·​ti·​sep·​tic | \ ˌant-ə-ˈsep-tik How to pronounce antiseptic (audio) \

Medical Definition of antiseptic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : opposing sepsis, putrefaction, or decay especially : preventing or arresting the growth of microorganisms (as on living tissue)
b : acting or protecting like an antiseptic
2 : relating to or characterized by the use of antiseptics
3 : free of living microorganisms : scrupulously clean : aseptic

Other Words from antiseptic

antiseptically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce antiseptically (audio) \ adverb

antiseptic

noun

Medical Definition of antiseptic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance (as hydrogen peroxide) that checks the growth or action of microorganisms especially in or on living tissue also : germicide

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