aseptic

adjective

asep·​tic (ˌ)ā-ˈsep-tik How to pronounce aseptic (audio)
ə-
1
a
: preventing infection
aseptic techniques
b
: free or freed from pathogenic microorganisms
an aseptic operating room
2
: lacking vitality, emotion, or warmth
aseptic essays
aseptically adverb

Did you know?

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 While commuting to other, similarly aseptic indoor spaces—co-working offices, movie theaters, friends’ apartments—I’ll skirt around pigeons, avert my eyes from a gnarly rat, shudder at the odd scuttling cockroach. Hannah Seo, The Atlantic, 13 Nov. 2023 The dispenser is loaded with an easily replaceable Clean Cassette®, which contains 420 disks and preserves them in an aseptic environment until it is applied to a stethoscope. Kristen Lynch, USA TODAY, 7 Aug. 2023 The tale was told, moreover, in a terse, tensed, tight style of laconic, aseptic sentences which will be difficult to capture in a series without resorting to the liberal use of voiceover. John Hopewell, Variety, 15 Sep. 2021 However, aseptic technique is a time-consuming and painstaking process. Kristen Lynch, USA TODAY, 7 Aug. 2023 Advertisement My favorite silken tofu comes in shelf-stable aseptic packaging, by Mori-Nu brand. Joe Yonan, Washington Post, 2 July 2023 For eleven diseases - adenovirus infection, measles, Q fever, aseptic viral meningitis, enterovirus infection, gastroenteritis, typhoid fever, tularaemia, hantavirus infection, hepatitis A and shigellosis - outbreaks in the human population were significantly correlated to the NAO monthly index. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 8 May 2013 During a recent visit to the facility in Tamil Nadu, India, agency inspectors found the company failed to take basic steps during sterilization, relied on deficient manufacturing processes and methods to ensure and verify sterility, and lacked adequate systems to create aseptic conditions. Ed Silverman, STAT, 3 Apr. 2023 To the right of the entrance, in what was once the foyer, the couple’s bed can be found in another aseptic stainless-steel box. Nick Haramis Laurent Kronental, New York Times, 23 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aseptic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

circa 1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of aseptic was circa 1859

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Dictionary Entries Near aseptic

Cite this Entry

“Aseptic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aseptic. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

aseptic

adjective
asep·​tic (ˈ)ā-ˈsep-tik How to pronounce aseptic (audio)
ə-
: preventing infection
also : free or freed from disease-causing germs
aseptically adverb

Medical Definition

aseptic

adjective
asep·​tic -ˈsep-tik How to pronounce aseptic (audio)
1
: preventing or not involving infection
aseptic techniques
2
: free or freed from pathogenic microorganisms
an aseptic wound
an aseptic operating room
aseptically adverb

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