- The definition of infect is to contaminate someone or something with a disease or with some other negative element.
- An example of infect is when you give someone a cold.
- An example of infect is when you have a very bad attitude which spreads to others who you know.
- to contaminate with a disease-producing organism or matter
- to cause to become diseased by bringing into contact with such an organism or matter
- to invade (an individual, organ, tissue, etc.): said of a pathogenic organism
- to affect or imbue with one's feelings, beliefs, etc.
Origin of infectMiddle English infecten ; from Middle French infecter ; from Classical Latin infectus, past participle of inficere, to put or dip into, tinge, stain ; from in-, in + facere, to do
transitive verbin·fect·ed, in·fect·ing, in·fects
- To invade and proliferate in, often resulting in disease. Used of microorganisms or other infectious agents: people who were infected with salmonella.
- To cause the invasion of (a cell, for example) with a microorganism or other infectious agent: The researchers infected the bacteria with a virus.
- To transmit a pathogen or disease to: The sick child infected the entire class.
- To contaminate with a pathogenic microorganism or agent: Cholera infected the water supply.
- Computers To become transmitted to and copied on (a hard drive, for example). Used of a virus or other harmful software.
- To affect by transmission or be communicated to. Used of an idea, emotion, or attitude: “His fear infected me, and &ellipsis; I followed as fast as I could” (W.H. Hudson).
Origin of infectMiddle English infecten, to afflict with disease, from Latin īnficere, īnfect-, to stain, infect (in-, in; see in–2 + facere, to do; see dhē- in Indo-European roots).
(third-person singular simple present infects, present participle infecting, simple past and past participle infected)
- To bring into contact with a substance that causes illness (a pathogen).
- To make somebody enthusiastic about one's own passion.
- Her passion for dancing has infected me.
- (obsolete) Infected.
From Middle French infect, from Latin infectus, perfect passive participle of inficiō (“dye, taint”).