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[sep-tik] /ˈsɛp tɪk/
adjective, Pathology
pertaining to or of the nature of sepsis; infected.
Origin of septic
1595-1605; < Latin sēpticus < Greek sēptikós, equivalent to sēpt(ós) rotted + -ikos -ic
Related forms
septically, adverb
[sep-tis-i-tee] /sɛpˈtɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
nonseptic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for septic
  • septic shock is a serious condition that occurs when an overwhelming infection leads to life-threatening low blood pressure.
  • Still, a little septic slip shouldn't tank his or her grade.
  • septic systems and sewers, in what are now suburban neighborhoods.
  • They investigate possible food sources in garbage piles, septic tanks, and sputum.
  • They recycle sewage water for use in the clean water septic system.
  • Water from the tanks is filtered into an underground septic system and not discharged into local waterways.
  • Most homes have their own septic systems and use town water.
  • Divert that water into the outdoor environment instead of into the septic system for truly green living.
  • More encouraging still is that such humdrum topics as septic systems and cow-dung fires rose to the top of the agenda.
  • He died of septic shock after being treated for cancer, the college said.
British Dictionary definitions for septic


of, relating to, or caused by sepsis
of, relating to, or caused by putrefaction
(Austral & NZ, informal) short for septic tank
Derived Forms
septically, adverb
septicity (sɛpˈtɪsɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin sēpticus, from Greek sēptikos, from sēptos decayed, from sēpein to make rotten
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 septic

c.1600, from Latin septicus "of or pertaining to putrefaction," from Greek septikos "characterized by putrefaction," from sepein "make rotten or putrid, cause to rot" (see sepsis). Septic tank is attested from 1902.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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septic in Medicine

septic sep·tic (sěp'tĭk)

  1. Of, relating to, having the nature of, or affected by sepsis.

  2. Causing or producing sepsis; putrefactive.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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septic in Science
A severe infection caused by pathogenic organisms, especially bacteria, in the blood or tissues. If untreated, a localized infection, as in the respiratory or urinary tracts, can lead to infection in the bloodstream and widespread inflammation, characterized initially by fever, chills, and other symptoms and later by septic shock.

septic adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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