Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To invade and proliferate in, often resulting in disease. Used of microorganisms or other infectious agents.
  • transitive verb To cause the invasion of (a cell, for example) with a microorganism or other infectious agent.
  • transitive verb To transmit a pathogen or disease to.
  • transitive verb To contaminate with a pathogenic microorganism or agent.
  • transitive verb Computers To become transmitted to and copied on (a hard drive, for example). Used of a virus or other harmful software.
  • transitive verb To affect by transmission or be communicated to. Used of an idea, emotion, or attitude.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In philology, to affect the quality of a sound in a following or preceding syllable: used especially in reference to the influence of prominent vowels, and phonetic changes, in the Celtic language.
  • Infected; tainted; affected unfavorably.
  • Contaminated with illegality; having a flaw in the title.
  • Marred; discolored; darkened.
  • To affect as with something infused or instilled; imbue; impregnate; permeate: used especially of that which is bad or hurtful, but sometimes also of that which is good or indifferent.
  • Specifically To taint with disease or the seeds of disease, either physical or moral: as, to infect a person with smallpox; literature infected with immorality.
  • In law, to taint or contaminate with illegality, or expose to penalty, seizure, or forfeiture.
  • Synonyms To poison, pollute, defile.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To taint with morbid matter or any pestilential or noxious substance or effluvium by which disease is produced
  • transitive verb To affect with infectious disease; to communicate infection to.
  • transitive verb To communicate to or affect with, as qualities or emotions, esp. bad qualities; to corrupt; to contaminate; to taint by the communication of anything noxious or pernicious.
  • transitive verb (Law) To contaminate with illegality or to expose to penalty.
  • adjective obsolete Infected. Cf. enfect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive to bring into contact with a substance that can cause illness (a pathogen)
  • verb transitive to make somebody enthusiastic about one's own passion

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb affect in a contagious way
  • verb communicate a disease to
  • verb corrupt with ideas or an ideology
  • verb contaminate with a disease or microorganism

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English infecten, to afflict with disease, from Latin īnficere, īnfect-, to stain, infect (in-, in; see in– + facere, to do; see dhē- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin infectus, perfect passive participle of inficiō ("dye, taint").

Examples

  • Widescreen, and features "infect" - ious bonus materials including a new audio commentary with the director and cast members, the featurette "Beneath The Skin: The Making of Cabin Fever" and more.

    Home Theater Forum

  • Widescreen, and features "infect" - ious bonus materials including a new audio commentary with the director and cast members, the featurette "Beneath The Skin: The Making of Cabin Fever" and more.

    Home Theater Forum

  • Widescreen, and features "infect" - ious bonus materials including a new audio commentary with the director and cast members, the featurette "Beneath The Skin: The Making of Cabin Fever" and more.

    Home Theater Forum

  • Widescreen, and features "infect" - ious bonus materials including a new audio commentary with the director and cast members, the featurette "Beneath The Skin: The Making of Cabin Fever" and more.

    Home Theater Forum

  • But you weren't supposed to do that under the old pre-war gold standard, because while it was OK for the countries that did it other countries with too little gold couldn't "un-sterilize" ( "infect"?) money, so there was a net deflationary effect world-wide.

    Lessons of the Great Depression, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • In a 2005 paper, Dr. Deisseroth and another researcher, Ed Boyden, showed how to "infect" certain nerves with a virus that made them light-sensitive.

    Training a Light on Brain Disease

  • Kinda makes you think people can be friends and not "infect" each other.

    Top Liberal Group Hammers Decision For Rick Warren To Deliver Obama's Inaugural Invocation

  • And you are NOT a DIRTY, GROSS, INFECTED scary woman who stole some kid just so you could "infect" them.

    They Shoot Wet Nurses, Don't They?

  • We don't celebrate this festival, per se, but we have a neighbor who is highly enthusiastic about holidays and decorations, and you'll always find her house and yard decorated with seasonal themes that kind of infect you with the spirit!

    Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Cream Sauce (For St.Patrick's Day)

  • We don't celebrate this festival, per se, but we have a neighbor who is highly enthusiastic about holidays and decorations, and you'll always find her house and yard decorated with seasonal themes that kind of infect you with the spirit!

    Archive 2008-03-01

Comments

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  • He looked distastefully at the age-cracked walls, stained with patches of damp that seemed like a material form of disgrace. That she should have grown to beauty in these infect surroundings made him feel, as he had often done before, that she was not all human and corruptible, but that her flesh was mixed with precious substance not subject to decay, her blood interpenetrated with the material of jewels.

    - Rebecca West, The Judge

    July 29, 2009