infect

verb
in·​fect | \ in-ˈfekt \
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 \ 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

But, technically, a chalazion occurs when the oil glands become blocked rather than infected. Korin Miller, SELF, "Sam Smith Reveals He Had Surgery to Remove a Stye," 15 Jan. 2019 Sand and Chopin had a loathsome time finding proper accommodations, especially after Chopin was erroneously diagnosed with Tuberculosis and subsequently kicked out of his lodgings to avoid infecting the innkeeper. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Why Winter Is the Most Inspiring Time to Visit Majorca," 25 Dec. 2018 About one million of those IP addresses belonged to computers, primarily based in the US and the UK, that attackers had infected with botnet software strains known as Boaxxe and Kovter. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "How 3ve’s BGP hijackers eluded the Internet—and made $29M," 21 Dec. 2018 That could mean that the Salmonella strain infecting those people was a generalist strain that prefers to circulate between multiple host species. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Machine learning could help figure out what pooped on your produce," 12 Dec. 2018 According to Paulson, 15 percent of inmates, or around 1,500, in Minnesota state prisons were HCV-infected in 2017. Washington Post, "State Prisons Fail To Offer Cure To 144,000 Inmates With Deadly Hepatitis C," 9 July 2018 Additionally, 18 people have been infected in Canada. Brian Resnick, Vox, "CDC: Don’t eat romaine lettuce. If you have any, throw it away.," 21 Nov. 2018 So far, 32 people in the US and 18 in Canada have been infected with a dangerous strain of E. coli that produces toxins called Shiga toxins and can sometimes cause kidney failure. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Throw out your romaine, it could be contaminated with E. coli," 20 Nov. 2018 In more targeted and sophisticated attacks, the mobile phone might also be infected with malware. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Password breach teaches Reddit that, yes, phone-based 2FA is that bad," 1 Aug. 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

19 Jan 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 \
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 \

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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