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

Definition of disinfectant

: an agent that frees from infection especially : a chemical that destroys vegetative forms of harmful microorganisms (such as bacteria and fungi) especially on inanimate objects but that may be less effective in destroying spores

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

Unlike other germs that typically are killed by common pool disinfectants, such as chlorine, crypto is capable of surviving in properly treated water for up to a week. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, "Crypto: Parasite in pools making people sick, CDC wants," 1 July 2019 Bacteria was detected in the system by August 2014, so city workers boosted the amounts of chlorine disinfectant twice. Dustin Renwick, National Geographic, "Five years on, the Flint water crisis is nowhere near over," 25 Apr. 2019 The agents included medicines, metals, pesticides, anesthetics, asphalt, brake fluid, plastics and polymers, radiation, cleaners/disinfectants and solvents such as paints, degreasers and other chemicals. chicagotribune.com, "Women’s exposure to solvents at work tied to autism in children," 2 July 2019 Eligible donations include pencils, pens, erasers, index cards, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, card stock, storage bins, pencil sharpeners, rulers and sticky notes. Colleen Cronin, PEOPLE.com, "Las Vegas Officials Approve Plan Allowing Parking Tickets to Be Paid by Donating School Supplies," 1 July 2019 The bottle is charged for six minutes to electrolyze it, creating a solution that looks like water but is a mix of hypochlorous acid (a powerful disinfectant) and sodium hydroxide (which works as a detergent and cuts through grease). Janelle Nanos, BostonGlobe.com, "A Burlington startup lets you make your own nontoxic cleaners at home," 20 June 2019 She was convicted that year of spraying a then-boyfriend in the eyes with Lysol disinfectant spray in a Kent State dorm. Adam Ferrise, cleveland.com, "Family struggled to find mental-health services for Cleveland woman accused of beating mother to death with hammer," 17 June 2019 If taste or chemical sensitivity are concerns, be aware that disinfectant does leave a chlorine residue in the water. Sunny Fitzgerald, National Geographic, "6 plastic-free ways to travel with safe drinking water," 7 Mar. 2019 The city for years used a pool disinfectant not approved by the EPA in a drinking water well, which was taken offline last summer. ___ ELIZABETH WARREN Sen. Elizabeth Warren said the United States is a world leader on the climate issue. Alexandra Jaffe, The Seattle Times, "Workers’ rights are a 2020 campaign focus this weekend," 14 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for disinfectant

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disinfectant

The first known use of disinfectant was in 1837

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More Definitions for disinfectant



English Language Learners Definition of disinfectant

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


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

Kids Definition of disinfectant

: something that kills germs


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

Medical Definition of disinfectant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an agent that frees from infection especially : a chemical that destroys vegetative forms of harmful microorganisms (as bacteria and fungi) especially on inanimate objects but that may be less effective in destroying spores



Medical Definition of disinfectant (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on disinfectant

Spanish Central: Translation of disinfectant

Nglish: Translation of disinfectant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about disinfectant

Comments on disinfectant

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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