verb (used with object)
- to affect or contaminate (a person, organ, wound, etc.) with disease-producing germs.
- to affect with disease.
- to taint or contaminate with something that affects quality, character, or condition unfavorably: to infect the air with poison gas.
- to corrupt or affect morally: The news of the gold strike infected him with greed.
- to imbue with some pernicious belief, opinion, etc.
- to affect with a computer virus.
- to affect so as to influence feeling or action: His courage infected the others.
- Law. to taint with illegality, or expose to penalty, forfeiture, etc.
verb (used without object)
- to become infected.
- Archaic. infected.
verb (mainly tr)
- to cause infection in; contaminate (an organism, wound, etc) with pathogenic microorganisms
- (also intr) to affect or become affected with a communicable disease
- to taint, pollute, or contaminate
- to affect, esp adversely, as if by contagion
- computing to affect with a computer virus
- mainly international law to taint with crime or illegality; expose to penalty or subject to forfeiture
- archaic contaminated or polluted with or as if with a disease; infected
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.
- To contaminate with a pathogenic microorganism or agent.
- To communicate a pathogen or disease to another organism.
- To invade and produce infection in an organ or body part.