infect

verb
in·​fect | \ in-ˈfekt How to pronounce infect (audio) \
infected; infecting; infects

Definition of infect

transitive verb

1 : to contaminate with a disease-producing substance or agent (such as bacteria)
2a : to communicate a pathogen or a disease to
b of a pathogenic organism : to invade (an individual or organ) usually by penetration
c of a computer virus : to become transmitted and copied to (a device, such as a computer)
3a : contaminate, corrupt the inflated writing that infects such stories
b : to work upon or seize upon so as to induce sympathy, belief, or support trying to infect their salespeople with their enthusiasm

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Other Words from infect

infector \ in-​ˈfek-​tər How to pronounce infector (audio) \ noun

Examples of infect in a Sentence

If you're sick you should stay home to avoid infecting other people in the office. The virus has infected many people. They were unable to prevent bacteria from infecting the wound. Her enthusiasm has infected everyone. The virus has infected many computers. All the computers in the office were infected by the same virus.
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Recent Examples on the Web

LeDuc studied Keystone in the 1970s in Texas and developed immune system antibodies to the virus, typically a sign one has been infected. Todd Ackerman, Houston Chronicle, "Texas officials downplay health threat from little-known mosquito-borne virus that caused symptoms in teen," 23 June 2018 Both reawakened in laboratory dishes and infected living amoebas. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "Something Stirs: What Will Happen as Permafrost Thaws?," 15 May 2018 The disease worsens over time, spreading throughout the brain and infecting other functions. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "Hockey Players Are the Next Frontier in Head Trauma Research," 7 May 2018 Florida recorded 1,469 Zika cases in 2016, with 298 infected locally. Larry Barszewski, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Mosquitoes that carry Zika could bring deadlier yellow fever this year," 5 May 2018 People are infected with Legionnaire's Disease after inhaling water droplets that contain legionella bacteria. refinery29.com, "This Is How The Deadly Rain Wiped Out Everyone On The Rain," 4 May 2018 But honestly a lot of Chris Hemsworth's attractiveness in Thor is a direct result of Tom Hiddleston's attractiveness wafting through the air on set and infecting everyone. Mehera Bonner, Marie Claire, "The Best Chris Movies Ranked by Overwhelming Hotness," 12 Apr. 2018 According to the Centers for Disease Control about 79 million Americans, most in their late teens or early 20s, are infected with HPV. Maria Clark, NOLA.com, "Parents less likely to vaccinate boys against HPV, a cancer-causing virus: Study," 26 Mar. 2018 The couples were recruited through an AIDS advocacy group called Baihualin, which works against societal discrimination of those infected with the disease. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Chinese Researcher Claims to Have Used CRISPR to Genetically Alter Twins," 26 Nov. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for infect

Middle English, from Latin infectus, past participle of inficere, from in- + facere to make, do — more at do

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Statistics for infect

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for infect

The first known use of infect was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for infect

infect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of infect

: to cause (someone or something) to become sick or affected by disease
: to cause (someone) to feel an emotion
of an emotion : to spread to (other people)

infect

verb
in·​fect | \ in-ˈfekt How to pronounce infect (audio) \
infected; infecting

Kids Definition of infect

1 : to pass on or introduce a germ, illness, or disease to : to cause sickness in Don't infect me with your cold. The bacteria can infect wounds.
2 : to cause to share similar feelings Her enthusiasm infects the other players.
in·​fect | \ in-ˈfekt How to pronounce infect (audio) \

Medical Definition of infect

1 : to contaminate with a disease-producing substance or agent (as bacteria)
2a : to communicate a pathogen or a disease to
b of a pathogenic organism : to invade (an individual or organ) usually by penetration — compare infest

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More from Merriam-Webster on infect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with infect

Spanish Central: Translation of infect

Nglish: Translation of infect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of infect for Arabic Speakers

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