disinfectant

noun
dis·​in·​fec·​tant | \ ˌdis-in-ˈfek-tənt How to pronounce disinfectant (audio) \
plural disinfectants

Definition of disinfectant

: an agent used to disinfect something especially : a chemical agent that is used especially on hard surfaces and in water (such as drinking water or wastewater) to destroy, inactivate, or significantly reduce the concentration of pathogens (such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi)

Note: Common chemical disinfectants include chlorine, calcium and sodium hypochlorite, iodophor, phenol, ethanol, and quaternary ammonium compounds. Disinfectants are often distinguished from sterilants by having reduced effectiveness against dormant bacterial endospores.

Examples of disinfectant in a Sentence

They use a strong disinfectant on the medical equipment. Clean the area with disinfectant.
Recent Examples on the Web Other uses of it include a disinfectant cleaner, stain remover and is a common ingredient in teeth whiteners, according to the Cleveland Health Clinic. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 22 Sep. 2021 An internal e-mail exchange between him and ICE officials from April 22, 2021, however, states that Glades began using Maxim Neutral disinfectant this year. Matthew Phelan, Scientific American, 17 Sep. 2021 For one month every spring, the water in member cities might taste like chlorine while the district changes the disinfectant in its water treatment process. Dallas News, 22 July 2021 But life didn’t always end in cool rooms that smelled of disinfectant. Lexi Pandell, Wired, 20 Nov. 2020 Plan to hover, or to wipe down the seat with some kind of disinfectant. Washington Post, 24 Sep. 2020 And eventually when the world was awash in sanitizer, both were left holding the bag — or rather gargantuan supplies of the liquid disinfectant. Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Sep. 2021 Steaming piles of sake rice cool on a steel rack as Jin feverishly sprays disinfectant on tools and containers. Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2021 An environmentally friendly disinfectant will be applied each night at schools, district facilities and on school buses. Sarah Bahari, Dallas News, 10 Aug. 2021

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

1837, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for disinfectant

Time Traveler

The first known use of disinfectant was in 1837

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Dictionary Entries Near disinfectant

disinfect

disinfectant

disinfecting candle

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Statistics for disinfectant

Last Updated

25 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disinfectant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disinfectant. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for disinfectant

disinfectant

noun

English Language Learners Definition of disinfectant

: a chemical substance that is used to kill harmful germs and bacteria : a substance that disinfects something

disinfectant

noun
dis·​in·​fec·​tant | \ ˌdi-sᵊn-ˈfek-tənt How to pronounce disinfectant (audio) \

Kids Definition of disinfectant

: something that kills germs

disinfectant

noun
dis·​in·​fec·​tant | \ -ˈfek-tənt How to pronounce disinfectant (audio) \

Medical Definition of disinfectant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an agent (as a chemical or ultraviolet light) that destroys, inactivates, or significantly reduces the concentration of pathogens (as bacteria, viruses, and fungi) especially on hard surfaces and in water (as drinking water or wastewater) also : a preparation or formulation containing one or more disinfectants along with additional additives (as water and fragrance)

Note: Common chemical disinfectants include chlorine, calcium and sodium hypochlorite, iodophor, phenol, ethanol, and quaternary ammonium compounds. Disinfectants are often distinguished from sterilants by having reduced effectiveness against dormant bacterial endospores.

disinfectant

adjective

Medical Definition of disinfectant (Entry 2 of 2)

: serving or tending to disinfect : suitable for use in disinfecting

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