asep·​tic | \ (ˌ)ā-ˈsep-tik How to pronounce aseptic (audio) , ə- \

Definition of aseptic

1a : preventing infection aseptic techniques
b : free or freed from pathogenic microorganisms an aseptic operating room
2 : lacking vitality, emotion, or warmth aseptic essays

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Other Words from aseptic

aseptically \ (ˌ)ā-​ˈsep-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce aseptic (audio) , ə-​ \ adverb

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Things cleaned specifically in a way that prevents infection were first described as aseptic in the 19th century. The word combines the prefix a-, meaning "not," and septic, from Greek sēptikos, meaning "putrifying." Aseptic was preceded by more than a century by antiseptic (from anti-, meaning "opposing," and sēptikos), which entered English with the meaning "opposing sepsis, putrefaction, or decay." Both words can also be used, like sterile, to suggest a lack of emotion, warmth, or interest. Evelyn Toynton used aseptic thus in The New York Times Book Review, November 22, 1987: "It's hard not to feel that an element of romance has been lost, that the vast chilly reaches of outer space are a pretty aseptic substitute for the shadowy depths under the ground.…"

Examples of aseptic in a Sentence

patients with compromised immune systems must be treated in aseptic environments
Recent Examples on the Web Safe to say, today’s patients and doctors are more comfortable with the aseptic medical practices developed over the past century. Marion Renault, The Atlantic, 2 June 2021 But doing so will involve a series of technical challenges — including finding ways to grow the principal component of a vaccine, which must be aseptic, in mosquitoes. Heidi Ledford, Scientific American, 28 Apr. 2021 Early versions of the vaccine were linked to aseptic meningitis, or swelling of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord. Blake Essig, CNN, 26 Feb. 2021 But the Japanese government’s confidence was shaken in 1993 when the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine led to cases of aseptic meningitis and a significant compensation bill for the Health Ministry. Washington Post, 18 Dec. 2020 The aseptic color charts, the matter-of-fact panes of glass and mirrors. Jason Farago, New York Times, 5 Mar. 2020 The methods of aseptic technique to maintain sterility and a clean workspace were familiar. Nik Sharma,, 11 Oct. 2019 The city currently accepts items including: All cardboard products, cereal boxes, corrugated boxes, paper towel rolls, egg cartons, milk and juice cartons, aseptic containers (soy, wine, etc.). Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, 6 June 2019 So as not to disturb the airflow, employees in aseptic spaces move slowly and deliberately, their arms raised as if in an act of surrender. Erika Fry, Fortune, 22 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aseptic.' 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 aseptic

circa 1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for aseptic

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for aseptic

Time Traveler

The first known use of aseptic was circa 1859

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Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aseptic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of aseptic

medical : free from germs that cause disease


asep·​tic | \ -ˈsep-tik How to pronounce aseptic (audio) \

Medical Definition of aseptic

1 : preventing or not involving infection aseptic techniques
2 : free or freed from pathogenic microorganisms an aseptic wound an aseptic operating room

Other Words from aseptic

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

More from Merriam-Webster on aseptic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aseptic

Nglish: Translation of aseptic for Spanish Speakers


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