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

  • noun The invasion of bodily tissue by pathogenic microorganisms that proliferate, resulting in tissue injury that can progress to disease.
  • noun The entry or placement, as by injection, of a microorganism or infectious agent into a cell or tissue.
  • noun An instance of being infected.
  • noun An agent or a contaminated substance responsible for one's becoming infected.
  • noun The pathological state resulting from having been infected.
  • noun An infectious disease.
  • noun An instance of a virus or similar software program infecting a computer.
  • noun The communication of a usually undesirable idea, emotion, or attitude by contact with other people or by example.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In biology, the hypothetical influence upon the tissues of the mother animal by the sperm of a male, such that subsequent offspring of the mother by other sires are infected with the characteristics of the first sire: a hypothesis invented to account for telegony. See telegony.
  • noun The act of infecting.
  • noun The communication of disease or of disease-germs, whether by contact with a diseased person or with morbid or noxious matter, contaminated clothing, etc., or by poisonous exhalations from any source. Compare contagion, 1.
  • noun Contamination by illegality, as in possessing contraband goods, etc.
  • noun That which infects, or by which some quality or state is communicated.
  • noun That which taints, poisons, or corrupts by communication from one to another; contaminating influence: as, the infection of error, or of an evil example.
  • noun That by which disease is or may be communicated; an infecting agency; morbific emanation or influence; virus.
  • noun In grammar, a modification of a vowel-sound by another following, whereby the first takes on the sound of the second: applied to such modification in Celtic speech. Windisch, Irish Gram. (trans.).

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

  • noun The act or process of infecting.
  • noun That which infects, or causes the communicated disease; any effluvium, miasm, or pestilential matter by which an infectious disease is caused.
  • noun The state of being infected; the condition of suffering from an infectious disease; contamination by morbific particles; the result of infecting influence; a prevailing disease; epidemic.
  • noun That which taints or corrupts morally.
  • noun (Law) Contamination by illegality, as in cases of contraband goods; implication.
  • noun Sympathetic communication of like qualities or emotions; influence.
  • noun A localized area of tissue which is inflamed by growth of microorganisms.

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

  • noun pathology The act or process of infecting.
  • noun An uncontrolled growth of harmful microorganisms in a host.

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

  • noun an incident in which an infectious disease is transmitted
  • noun the pathological state resulting from the invasion of the body by pathogenic microorganisms
  • noun the communication of an attitude or emotional state among a number of people
  • noun moral corruption or contamination
  • noun (international law) illegality that taints or contaminates a ship or cargo rendering it liable to seizure
  • noun (medicine) the invasion of the body by pathogenic microorganisms and their multiplication which can lead to tissue damage and disease
  • noun (phonetics) the alteration of a speech sound under the influence of a neighboring sound


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin *infectiō.



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