infection

noun
in·​fec·​tion | \ in-ˈfek-shən How to pronounce infection (audio) \

Definition of infection

1a : the state produced by the establishment of one or more pathogenic agents (such as a bacteria, protozoans, or viruses) in or on the body of a suitable host an infection in his foot
b : a disease resulting from infection contagious infections infections of childhood
2 : an act or process of infecting something or someone also : the establishment of a pathogen in its host after invasion
3 : an infectious agent or material contaminated with an infectious agent … that notion that the infection was all in the air, that there was no such thing as contagion from the sick people to the sound …— Daniel Defoe It may not be uninteresting to add, that this case I vaccinated with infection taken from a secondary pock on the arm of her sister …— John Redman Coxe
4 : the communication of emotions or qualities through example or contact But immediately she resisted this intolerable fear as an infection from her husband's way of thinking.— George Eliot also : the emotion or quality that is communicated … as the evening wore on, she caught the infection of their excitement … — Thomas Hardy Besides, I know what sort of a mind I have placed in communication with my own: I know it is one not liable to take infection— Charlotte Brontë
5 : the act or result of corrupting someone's morals, character, etc. … it is at least as difficult to stay a moral infection as a physical one …— Charles Dickens … they could not know the origin—or the depth—of his susceptibility to the infection of power.— Robert A. Caro

Examples of infection in a Sentence

Poor hygiene can increase the danger of infection. The wound has so far remained free of infection. steps you can take to decrease your computer's risk of infection
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Recent Examples on the Web Instead, the highest infection rates are now being detected in southern and western states including Oregon and Oklahoma. NBC News, "Coronavirus cases climbing in U.S., Brazil and Germany after biggest global one-day rise," 21 June 2020 For a long stretch of the pandemic, Madison County, home of Huntsville, seemed to have avoided the high infection rates seen in Alabama’s other large counties. Ramsey Archibald | Rarchibald@al.com, al, "Top spots to watch in Alabama as coronavirus cases surge in June," 20 June 2020 That’s already been observed where state reopenings have coincided with a surge in infection rates. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Summer Weather Won’t Save Us from Coronavirus," 19 June 2020 Among those who tested positive, infection rates were almost 20 times higher for Hispanic residents than non-Hispanics and 3.5 times higher among immigrant workers than residents in the district. Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN, "Coronavirus continued to spread among San Francisco's low-income Hispanic population despite lockdown, study finds," 18 June 2020 Germany started loosening its coronavirus restrictions in late April and has largely kept infection rates low, though local outbreaks linked to slaughterhouses, church services and a restaurant, among other places, have caused some concern. Fox News, "Germany reports 657 new coronavirus cases linked to slaughterhouse," 18 June 2020 Now, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are issuing a travel advisory and requiring visitors from states with high coronavirus infection rates to quarantine for 14 days. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Coronavirus hospitalizations in New York drop below 1,000 for first time since March 18, Cuomo says," 25 June 2020 President Donald Trump has played down its significance, even as infection rates in a number of states keep rising. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "A COVID-19 resurgence and the trust factor," 24 June 2020 Recent trends suggest infection rates are going up in the U.S. for all groups, including for younger people. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "More Young People Are Testing Positive for COVID-19 in the U.S. Here's What That Could Mean for the Outbreak," 24 June 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for infection

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for infection

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Infection.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infection. Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for infection

infection

noun
How to pronounce infection (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of infection

: the act or process of infecting someone or something : the state of being infected
: a disease caused by germs that enter the body

infection

noun
in·​fec·​tion | \ in-ˈfek-shən How to pronounce infection (audio) \

Kids Definition of infection

1 : the act or process of passing on or introducing a germ, illness, or disease to : the state of being infected
2 : any disease caused by germs an ear infection

infection

noun
in·​fec·​tion | \ in-ˈfek-shən How to pronounce infection (audio) \

Medical Definition of infection

1a : the state produced by the establishment of one or more pathogenic agents or microorganisms (as bacteria, viruses, protozoans, or fungi) in or on the body of a suitable host treated a bacterial infection of the eye
b : a disease resulting from infection : infectious disease common infections of childhood contagious infections
2 : an act or process of infecting something or someone syphilis infection is chiefly venereal also : the establishment of a pathogen in its host after invasion
3 : an infectious agent or material contaminated with an infectious agent

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