sep·​tic | \ ˈsep-tik How to pronounce septic (audio) \

Definition of septic

1 : of, relating to, or causing putrefaction
2 : relating to, involving, caused by, or affected with sepsis septic patients
3 : used for sewage treatment and disposal a septic system also : of or relating to a septic system septic effluents

Examples of septic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The probe came only after years of protest from residents and activists, who pointed out that, on rainy days, raw sewage is often pushed back into houses because septic tanks don't work properly. Brandon Tensley, CNN, 9 Dec. 2021 The groups pointed to pollution from wastewater, leaking septic systems and fertilizer runoff for the algal outbreaks and seagrass loss. Li Cohen, CBS News, 7 Jan. 2022 The two streets on the eastern edge of Parma included 50 homes with septic systems. John Benson, cleveland, 16 Dec. 2021 On rainy days, the septic systems that residents rely on to treat waste often fail to drain properly into the region’s heavy clay soil — leading to raw sewage bubbling up into yards and homes. Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2021 Many of them live in rural areas that aren't connected to the sewer system and cannot afford to install or maintain their own septic systems, which can cost up to $70,000, Clarke added. Christina Carrega, CNN, 9 Nov. 2021 Bouchard, a gun rights activist who co-owns a septic system servicing business with his wife, said the disclosure wouldn’t stop him from seeking higher office., 21 May 2021 The contaminant mostly comes from manure or fertilizer but can also originate from septic systems and other sources, as well. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 Nov. 2021 But one long-standing wish list item likely wouldn’t be covered by the federal program: Purging septic tanks from the entire city. Wells Dusenbury,, 13 Nov. 2021

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

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for septic

Latin septicus, from Greek sēptikos, from sēpein to putrefy

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Last Updated

26 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Septic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for septic



English Language Learners Definition of septic

: infected with bacteria


sep·​tic | \ ˈsep-tik How to pronounce septic (audio) \

Medical Definition of septic

2 : relating to, involving, caused by, or affected with sepsis septic complications septic arthritis septic patients

More from Merriam-Webster on septic

Nglish: Translation of septic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of septic for Arabic Speakers


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