sep·​ti·​ce·​mia | \ ˌsep-tə-ˈsē-mē-ə How to pronounce septicemia (audio) \

Definition of septicemia

: potentially life-threatening invasion of the bloodstream by pathogenic agents and especially bacteria along with their toxins from a localized infection (as of the lungs or skin) that is accompanied by acute systemic illness

called also blood poisoning

— compare bacteremia, sepsis, viremia

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Other Words from septicemia

septicemic \ ˌsep-​tə-​ˈsē-​mik How to pronounce septicemia (audio) \ adjective

Examples of septicemia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Zimbabwe suspects a bacterial disease called hemorrhagic septicemia is behind the recent deaths of more than 30 elephants but is doing further tests to make sure, the parks authority said. Reuters, CNN, "Zimbabwe suspects bacterial disease behind elephant deaths," 30 Sep. 2020 Viral hemorrhagic septicemia is a virus that has infected fish in all five Great Lakes and has been found in some inland lakes in New York, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "10 Common Parasites and Diseases Found in Game Fish (and What You Need to Know About Them)," 27 May 2020 The study also found air pollution is related to hospitalizations caused by unexpected diseases such as septicemia, kidney failure, skin infections and urinary tract infections. Gisela Crespo, CNN, "Even short-term exposure to low levels of air pollution can increase risk of cardiac arrest," 28 Jan. 2020 The cutting can cause pain, shock, hemorrhage, tetanus or infection, urine retention, ulceration of the genital region and injury to adjacent tissue, wound infection, urinary infection, fever and septicemia. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Bipartisan group of Kentucky senators introduces bill to ban female genital mutilation," 14 Jan. 2020 Meningococcal disease can cause meningitis if the bacteria infect the lining of the brain or spinal cord, or septicemia if the bacteria infect the blood., "Children diagnosed with infectious disease," 24 Oct. 2019 Sepsis, also known as septicemia, is blood poisoning caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Rachel Desantis,, "Baby Found Buried Alive in India Has 'Chances' at Survival — and a Family Ready to Adopt Her," 17 Oct. 2019 Researchers with the federal Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project found that sepsis, also called septicemia, cost $23.7 billion to treat in 2013. Derek Angus, STAT, "Current efforts to fight sepsis aren’t working. We need a bolder approach," 14 June 2018 Information released on causes of death shows notable jumps after August 2017 of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and septicemia, a blood infection caused by bacteria. Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "Puerto Rico Data Suggests Hurricane Maria Death Toll Is Much Higher," 13 June 2018

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

1860, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for septicemia

New Latin, from Latin septicus + New Latin -emia

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Time Traveler for septicemia

Time Traveler

The first known use of septicemia was in 1860

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Cite this Entry

“Septicemia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce septicemia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of septicemia

medical : a dangerous infection of the blood


variants: or chiefly British septicaemia \ ˌsep-​tə-​ˈsē-​mē-​ə How to pronounce septicemia (audio) \

Medical Definition of septicemia

: a potentially life-threatening invasion of the bloodstream by pathogenic agents (as bacteria, viruses, or fungi) from a localized infection (as of the lungs or skin) that is accompanied by acute systemic illness

called also blood poisoning

— see pyemia — compare bacteremia, sepsis, viremia

Other Words from septicemia

septicemic or chiefly British septicaemic \ -​ˈsē-​mik How to pronounce septicemia (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on septicemia

Nglish: Translation of septicemia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of septicemia for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about septicemia

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