fomite

noun
fo·mite | \ˈfō-ˌmīt \
plural fomites\ˈfō-ˌmīts; ˈfä-mə-ˌtēz, ˈfō- \

Definition of fomite 

: an object (such as a dish or a doorknob) that may be contaminated with infectious organisms and serve in their transmission

Did You Know?

Disinfectant on your hands keeps us healthier and fomites no longer foment as much disease. Australian newspaper contributor Peter Goers was likely going for alliteration when he paired up "fomite" and "foment," a verb meaning "to promote the growth or development of"-but, whether he realized it or not, the words "fomite" and "foment" are also related. "Fomite" is a back-formation of "fomites," the Latin plural of "fomes," itself a word for tinder. (Much like tinder is a catalyst of fire, a fomite can kindle disease.) "Fomes" is akin to the Latin verb fovēre ("to heat"), an ancestor of "foment."

First Known Use of fomite

1803, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fomite

back-formation from fomites, from New Latin, plural of fomit-, fomes, from Latin, kindling wood; akin to Latin fovēre to heat — more at foment

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Dictionary Entries near fomite

foment

fomentation

Fomes

fomite

FOMO

Fomor

Fomorian

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The first known use of fomite was in 1803

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More Definitions for fomite

fomite

noun
fo·mite | \ˈfō-ˌmīt \
plural fomites\-ˌmīts; ˈfäm-ə-ˌtēz, ˈfōm- \

Medical Definition of fomite 

: an object (as a dish, toy, book, doorknob, or clothing) that may be contaminated with infectious organisms and serve in their transmission the much maligned toilet seat is a remarkably ineffective fomite— M. F. Rein what are the most common fomites for rotavirus in day-care settingsPediatric Report's Child Health Newsletter

More from Merriam-Webster on fomite

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fomite

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