antiseptic

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

Definition of antiseptic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : opposing microbial infection especially : preventing or inhibiting the growth or action of microorganisms (such as bacteria) in or on living tissue (such as the skin or mucous membranes) applied an antiseptic solution to the wound antiseptic mouthwash In general, the preparation of the skin with one or more antiseptic agents (e.g, alcohol, iodine tincture, an iodophor, or chlorhexidine gluconate) applied individually or sequentially in a concentric fashion to the venipuncture site should provide that proper satisfactory antisepsis … — Calvin L. Strand et al.
b : relating to or characterized by the use of antiseptic substances antiseptic treatment
2a : 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
d : having a cleansing or purifying quality or effect … the antiseptic effect of sturdy criticism.New Republic
3a : 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
plural antiseptics

Definition of antiseptic (Entry 2 of 2)

: an antiseptic substance : a substance (such as isopropyl alcohol or chlorhexidine) that destroys or inhibits the growth or action of microorganisms (such as bacteria) especially in or on living tissue (such as the skin or mucous membranes) clean the wound with an antiseptic

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from antiseptic

Adjective

antiseptically \ ˌan-​tə-​ˈsep-​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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Building battery cells is a costly and complicated endeavor, requiring billions in investment and learning new manufacturing techniques such as using antiseptic clean rooms, Farley said. Keith Naughton, Bloomberg.com, "Ford May Build Batteries to Power Coming Wave of Electric Models," 13 Nov. 2020 Passers-by were directed to the front of the eatery, where staff from the Phoenix Indian Center passed out voter kits: a T-shirt celebrating the Indigenous vote, a safety kit including a mask, gloves and antiseptic wipes and Indian Center brochures. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, "Protecting the Native vote: How Election Day played out in Indian Country," 6 Nov. 2020 Hand Sanitizer is a travel-ready 67% Ethyl antiseptic hand sanitizer that’s infused with therapeutic essential oils to leave your hands feeling soft, moisturized, and clean. Popular Science, "Here are the top 25 deals from the PopSci Shop from this week," 22 Oct. 2020 Kits include hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes, soap, water, a trash bag, COVID-19 informational postcard, behavioral health informational post card, and a face covering. Gary Warth, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Philanthropists deliver 100,000 meals to homeless during pandemic," 22 Aug. 2020 Initial probes showed that levels of phenol, a substance often used as antiseptic or disinfectant, were 2.5 times higher than normal, and petroleum levels 3.6 times higher. Mary Ilyushina, CNN, "A suspected toxic spill in Russia's Far East has killed 95% of marine life on the seabed," 7 Oct. 2020 The belief that cyber conflict is antiseptic and creates few casualties may result in leaders around the world being more willing to go to cyberwar than kinetic conflict. Richard A. Clarke, WSJ, "Will We Have Cyberwar or Cyber Peace?," 5 Oct. 2020 While other homeowners might prefer their live-in cook keep an antiseptic apartment, Pasti celebrates Lezaar’s magpie urge to acquire, a compulsion facilitated by Tangier’s famous flea markets. Nancy Hass, New York Times, "In Morocco, a Compact Apartment Filled With Over 10,000 Curios," 2 Oct. 2020 In the mid-80s, Philip Johnson and his partner John Burgee proposed turning Times Square into a kind of antiseptic office park with four Postmodern office towers and a giant sculpture of an apple by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, "Times Square, Grand Central and the Laws That Build the City," 24 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Around 12,000 years ago inhabitants of the Yucatán Peninsula extracted the red pigment, possibly for use as an antiseptic and sunscreen or for symbolic purposes such as body painting. Scott Hershberger, Scientific American, "In Case You Missed It," 14 Sep. 2020 In 2017, thugs from the pro-Kremlin movement SERB threw acidic green antiseptic into Navalny’s face, burning his retina. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, "Trolls, tracking and films: How Putin’s Russia obsessively hounded opposition leader Navalny," 29 Aug. 2020 Video footage of the tunnel provided by the company that assembled it showed the device spraying individuals walking through with a liquid antiseptic. BostonGlobe.com, "Honduras president, first lady test positive for COVID-19," 18 June 2020 It is found in many consumer products — such as skin antiseptics, wound wash sprays, cold sore treatments, hand sanitizers and as a preservative in eye, ear and nasal drops. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Ann Arbor company says its nasal antiseptic can kill coronavirus," 12 May 2020 In a big case in 2016, Hexi Pharma, a supplier of antiseptics to 350 public hospitals, was found to have diluted them significantly. The Economist, "Romania’s health-care system, the EU’s worst, struggles to reform," 21 Nov. 2019 Just as Joseph Lister pioneered the use of antiseptics in medicine from the 1860s onwards, disposable dressings gradually became the norm. Alice Bell, CNN, "Can science break its plastic addiction?," 5 Nov. 2019 But from this senseless horror came good: the use of antiseptics was quickly accepted by American doctors. CBS News, "How doctors killed President Garfield," 5 July 2012 The concept of disinfecting our hands with antiseptics is a medical innovation that dates to the early 1820s, when doctors started moistening their hands with liquid chlorides to help contain the spread of contagious diseases. Elizabeth Kiefer, Washington Post, "Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are still a safe bet," 10 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of antiseptic

Adjective

1639, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1745, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about antiseptic

Time Traveler for antiseptic

Time Traveler

The first known use of antiseptic was in 1639

See more words from the same year

Statistics for antiseptic

Last Updated

19 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Antiseptic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/antiseptic. Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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)

1 : opposing microbial infection especially : preventing or inhibiting the growth and action of microorganisms in or on living tissue (as the skin or mucous membranes) an antiseptic oral rinse topical antiseptic solutions for wounds In general, the preparation of the skin with one or more antiseptic agents (eg, alcohol, iodine tincture, an iodophor, or chlorhexidine gluconate) applied individually or sequentially in a concentric fashion to the venipuncture site should provide that proper satisfactory antisepsis … — Calvin L. Strand et al.
2 : relating to or characterized by the use of antiseptic substances antiseptic treatment
3 : free of living microorganisms : scrupulously clean : aseptic antiseptic surgical instruments

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)

: an antiseptic substance : a substance (as hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, or chlorhexidine) that destroys or inhibits the growth or action of microorganisms (as bacteria) especially in or on living tissue (as the skin or mucous membranes)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on antiseptic

What made you want to look up antiseptic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!