sep·​sis | \ ˈsep-səs \
plural sepses\ ˈsep-​ˌsēz \

Definition of sepsis

: a toxic condition resulting from the spread of bacteria or their toxins from a focus of infection especially : septicemia

Examples of sepsis in a Sentence

She was treated for sepsis of the urinary tract.

Recent Examples on the Web

The researchers developed a method to cure sepsis—at least in mice—using small molecules called F12 and F19 to block the bacteria from doing any damage, which doesn’t require any antibiotics at all. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Discover Method to Make Bacteria Harmless," 18 Oct. 2018 These can include hemorrhage, infection, or fatal sepsis. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Abortions by mail are available now in the US. Here’s what you need to know.," 20 Oct. 2018 The New York Times reported in June that many of these post-storm deaths are due to suicide, sepsis from complications with infection, diabetes, and lack of power to necessary life-saving and live-sustaining equipment. Connor Perrett, Teen Vogue, "Puerto Rico's Government Acknowledged That More Than 1,400 People Died From Hurricane Maria," 9 Aug. 2018 Inflammation caused by sepsis can cause massive organ failure. Char Adams,, "Here's What You Need to Know If You Get the Flu," 6 Feb. 2018 In tests in mice, the researchers found that 70 percent of untreated mice with sepsis died, but 100 percent of the mice treated with F12 or F19 survived. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Discover Method to Make Bacteria Harmless," 18 Oct. 2018 Studies have shown that canimorsus is one of the leading causes of sepsis, which is exactly what Greg experienced. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "A Man Reportedly Had His Hands and Legs Amputated Because of an Infection Caused By a Dog Lick," 1 Aug. 2018 According to multiple reports, the former NBC star died of sepsis, which is as an infection of the blood of unknown origin. Lauren Matthews, Country Living, "UPDATE: 'Chicago Fire' Actress DuShon Monique Brown's Cause of Death Has Been Released," 4 June 2018 James Derry, a former Bethlehem Steel Corp. manager and Navy veteran, died June 22 at Franklin Square Medical Center from sepsis. Frederick N. Rasmussen,, "James Derry, former Beth Steel manager, dies," 13 July 2018

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

1876, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sepsis

New Latin, from Greek sēpsis decay, from sēpein to putrefy

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Statistics for sepsis

Last Updated

23 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for sepsis

The first known use of sepsis was in 1876

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English Language Learners Definition of sepsis

medical : illness caused by an infection in a part of the body


sep·​sis | \ ˈsep-səs \
plural sepses\ ˈsep-​ˌsēz \

Medical Definition of sepsis

: a systemic response typically to a serious usually localized infection (as of the abdomen or lungs) especially of bacterial origin that is usually marked by abnormal body temperature and white blood cell count, tachycardia, and tachypnea specifically : systemic inflammatory response syndrome induced by a documented infection — see multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, septic shock

More from Merriam-Webster on sepsis

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sepsis

Britannica English: Translation of sepsis for Arabic Speakers

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