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disinfectant

[dis-in-fek-tuh nt] /ˌdɪs ɪnˈfɛk tənt/
noun
1.
any chemical agent used chiefly on inanimate objects to destroy or inhibit the growth of harmful organisms.
adjective
2.
serving as a disinfectant.
Origin
1830-1840
1830-40; < French désinfectant, noun use of present participle of désinfecter, Middle French. See disinfect, -ant
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for disinfectant
  • They also act as a disinfectant, removing disease-ridden plants and harmful insects from a forest ecosystem.
  • He got a staph infection that brought him to the hospital, and anyone visiting his room had to scrub first with disinfectant.
  • Under the smell of baking, there's some disinfectant, some bleach.
  • It is said in politics that sunlight is the best disinfectant.
  • Emergency workers with fire hoses could be seen soaking wreckage with disinfectant.
  • Sunlight is the best disinfectant and the evidence speaks far louder than the lies.
  • The disinfectant bottles cannot be reused in the system.
  • Iodophor disinfectant-detergents are not appropriate for general application to environmental surfaces.
British Dictionary definitions for disinfectant

disinfectant

/ˌdɪsɪnˈfɛktənt/
noun
1.
an agent that destroys or inhibits the activity of microorganisms that cause disease
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for disinfectant
disinfectant
1837 (n.); 1875 (adj.), from Fr. désinfectant (1816), originally prp. of désinfecter (see disinfect).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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disinfectant in Medicine

disinfectant dis·in·fec·tant (dĭs'ĭn-fěk'tənt)
n.
An agent, such as heat, radiation, or a chemical, that disinfects by destroying, neutralizing, or inhibiting the growth of disease-carrying microorganisms. adj.
Serving to disinfect.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for disinfectant

any substance, such as creosote or alcohol, applied to inanimate objects to kill microorganisms. Disinfectants and antiseptics are alike in that both are germicidal, but antiseptics are applied primarily to living tissue. The ideal disinfectant would rapidly destroy bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoans, would not corrode surgical instruments, and would not destroy or discolour materials on which it is used.

Learn more about disinfectant with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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