Definition of aseptic
- aseptic techniques
- an aseptic operating room
- aseptic essays
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patients with compromised immune systems must be treated in aseptic environments
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.
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.…"
First Known Use: circa 1859See Words from the same year
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an inn where caravans rest at night
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