Word of the Day : December 19, 2016


adjective nah-suh-KOH-mee-ul


: acquired or occurring in a hospital

Did You Know?

Nosocomial is a word that usually occurs in formal medical contexts—specifically, in reference to hospital-acquired sickness. We hope you never encounter nosocomial as part of your own medical diagnosis, but if you do, you might want to remember that the term descends from nosocomium, the Late Latin word for "hospital." Nosocomium in turn traces to the Greek nosos, meaning "disease." That root has given English other words as well, including zoonosis ("a disease communicable from animals to humans under natural conditions") and nosology ("a classification or list of diseases" or "a branch of medical science that deals with classification of diseases").


A minor nosocomial outbreak of the disease occurred when doctors failed to diagnose the infected patient's illness in time.

"… there are things we handle a lot and never really clean. One study, for instance, found that about 95 percent of mobile phones carried by health care workers were contaminated with nosocomial bacteria." — Aaron E. Carroll, The New York Times, 18 Oct. 2016

Test Your Vocabulary

Unscramble the letters to create an adjective that is used to describe something that prevents infection: ETISAPC.



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