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infect

[in-fekt] /ɪnˈfɛkt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to affect or contaminate (a person, organ, wound, etc.) with disease-producing germs.
2.
to affect with disease.
3.
to taint or contaminate with something that affects quality, character, or condition unfavorably:
to infect the air with poison gas.
4.
to corrupt or affect morally:
The news of the gold strike infected him with greed.
5.
to imbue with some pernicious belief, opinion, etc.
6.
to affect with a computer virus.
7.
to affect so as to influence feeling or action:
His courage infected the others.
8.
Law. to taint with illegality, or expose to penalty, forfeiture, etc.
verb (used without object)
9.
to become infected.
adjective
10.
Archaic. infected.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English infecten < Latin infectus (past participle of inficere to immerse in dye, discolor, taint, poison), equivalent to in- in-2 + -fec-, combining form of facere to do1, make (see fact) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
infectant, adjective
infectedness, noun
infector, infecter, noun
noninfected, adjective
noninfecting, adjective
preinfect, verb (used with object)
reinfect, verb (used with object)
uninfected, adjective
Can be confused
afflict, infect, inflict.
infect, infest, invest.
Synonyms
5. damage, corrupt. 6. touch, stir, arouse.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for infect
  • It is sadly curious to observe how slight a taste of office suffices to infect a poor fellow with this singular disease.
  • Their genetic make-up often changes by mistake when the cells they infect churn out new virus particles.
  • The hypochondriacs can, though, act as breeding grounds for resistant bacteria that may infect others.
  • Food is not the only means by which resistant bacteria from farms can infect humans.
  • Klebsiella can also attach to the urinary tract and infect the kidneys.
  • Afterward, the bacteria lie dormant and cannot spread or infect others.
  • Flash or thumb drives provide an easy way to infect machines with malware.
  • The foot-and-mouth virus does not infect humans but could devastate herds of cattle, swine, lambs and sheep.
  • infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.
  • So far, this avian virus cannot easily infect humans and is contracted only through close exposure to infected birds.
British Dictionary definitions for infect

infect

/ɪnˈfɛkt/
verb (mainly transitive)
1.
to cause infection in; contaminate (an organism, wound, etc) with pathogenic microorganisms
2.
(also intransitive) to affect or become affected with a communicable disease
3.
to taint, pollute, or contaminate
4.
to affect, esp adversely, as if by contagion
5.
(computing) to affect with a computer virus
6.
(mainly international law) to taint with crime or illegality; expose to penalty or subject to forfeiture
adjective
7.
(archaic) contaminated or polluted with or as if with a disease; infected
Derived Forms
infector, infecter, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin inficere to dip into, stain, from facere to make
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 infect
v.

late 14c., from Latin infectus, past participle of inficere "to spoil, stain," literally "to put in to, dip into," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + facere "perform" (see factitious). Related: Infected; infecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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infect in Medicine

infect in·fect (ĭn-fěkt')
v. in·fect·ed, in·fect·ing, in·fects

  1. To contaminate with a pathogenic microorganism or agent.

  2. To communicate a pathogen or disease to another organism.

  3. To invade and produce infection in an organ or body part.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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11
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