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 The lawsuit was filed on behalf of patients who sought treatment at the hospital and became infected by mold. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Deadly mold infestation spurs class-action lawsuit against Seattle Children's Hospital," 3 Dec. 2019 Further, the study found the vaccine reduced hospitalizations of people infected by 95.4 percent. Nina Kravinsky, Smithsonian, "New Dengue Vaccine Looks Promising, but Major Hurdles Remain," 8 Nov. 2019 Washington is second only to New York among states with the most people infected by measles so far this year amid the biggest national surge in cases in more than 25 years. oregonlive, "Washington measles outbreak was among the worst in U.S., feds say," 10 Oct. 2019 This fun new series, which is at least the third TV incarnation of the teen detective known as Nancy Drew, is infected by a dank, near-Gothic level of adolescent anxiety — fans of Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will be happy. Tom Gliatto, PEOPLE.com, "Nancy Drew Review: Spooky Series Caters to Fans of Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," 9 Oct. 2019 Ants infected by a roundworm called Myrmeconema neotropicumturns turn from black to red and strike suicidal berry poses that attract hungry birds, the worm’s definitive host. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Forever War Against Parasites Trying To Control Our Brains," 23 Sep. 2019 Cryptococcus is in the environment and people are often infected by inhaling the fungi and the fungal spores. Murat Can Kalem, The Conversation, "Why does the CDC want us to ‘Think Fungus’?," 23 Sep. 2019 She was told she had been infected by the flesh-eating bacteria, Necrotizing fasciitis. Adriana Gomez Licon, sun-sentinel.com, "Flesh-eating bacteria killed Florida woman, family says," 1 July 2019 Dengvaxia was eventually found to increase the risk of dengue in people who had not already been infected, reports Ed Silverman for STAT News. Nina Kravinsky, Smithsonian, "New Dengue Vaccine Looks Promising, but Major Hurdles Remain," 8 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for infect

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for infect

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Infect.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infector?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=i&file=infect02. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for infect

infect

verb
How to pronounce infect (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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