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

An aspergillus infection can weaken the plants enough to reduce crop yield, which is a concern for the farmers. Nutrition Diva Monica Reinagel, Scientific American, "Aflatoxins in Nuts: Danger or Hype?," 6 June 2019 The push for fines was prompted in part by a 2018 investigation by Kaiser Health News and the Tribune on the proliferation of deadly sepsis infections. Joe Mahr, chicagotribune.com, "Understaffed nursing homes face hefty fines under newly passed Illinois legislation," 4 June 2019 Jakelin Caal Maquín, age 7, died of a bacterial infection in CBP custody in December. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "A Guatemalan 16-Year-Old Is the Latest Immigrant Minor to Die in U.S. Custody," 20 May 2019 In 11 instances, lab workers acquired bacterial or fungal infections. R. Daniel Bressler, Vox, "“Designer bugs”: how the next pandemic might come from a lab," 6 Dec. 2018 Learning more about this possibility could help us control some of the bacterial infections that commonly occur after broad-spectrum antibiotic treatments have hugely disrupted the normal gut microbiome, the authors suggest. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Gut bacteria recover from antibiotics, but they may take six months," 28 Oct. 2018 Could man’s best friend be linked to a multidrug-resistant bacterial infection? Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Puppies linked to 'multidrug-resistant' infection, CDC says," 27 Sep. 2018 Saliva is responsible for cleaning out food particles and protecting the teeth and gums from bacterial infection, says Alice Boghosian, spokesperson for the American Dental Association. Samantha Lefave, Redbook, "Why You Should Never Ignore Sweet-Smelling Urine (or These Other Body Odors)," 3 Aug. 2018 Skye’s father, from Ventura, Calif., said his daughter developed a bacterial infection and her spleen was removed because of complications from the cancer. Lindsey Bever, Washington Post, "A bride gave bone marrow to save a stranger’s baby. The child lived — and was her flower girl.," 3 July 2018

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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Statistics for infection

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for infection

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

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More Definitions for infection

infection

noun

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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More from Merriam-Webster on infection

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with infection

Spanish Central: Translation of infection

Nglish: Translation of infection for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of infection for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about infection

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