Definition of infect in English:

infect

Syllabification: in·fect
Pronunciation: /inˈfekt
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Affect (a person, organism, cell, etc.) with a disease-causing organism: there is no evidence that the virus can infect humans
More example sentences
  • Children can get ringworm from touching infected animals such as dogs and cats.
  • Since then, West Nile virus has spread rapidly westward, infecting birds, humans and horses.
  • Mosquitoes that bite infected animals then bite humans typically transmit the disease.
Synonyms
pass infection to, spread disease to, contaminate
1.1Contaminate (air, water, etc.) with harmful organisms.
More example sentences
  • Somewhat reassured, the group try to settle down to enjoy the rest of their vacation, unaware that the diseased man's body is face down in the reservoir, infecting their water supply…
  • Oh, and the guy who they burnt handily made it to the local reservoir, thereby infecting the local water supply.
  • Almost every area of life is a potential terrorist target - with scare stories about the threat of a smallpox outbreak, and bioterrorists infecting food supplies and water reservoirs.
Synonyms
contaminate, pollute, taint, foul, dirty, blight, damage, ruin; poison
1.2 Computing Affect with a virus.
More example sentences
  • By comparison almost one in ten emails (nine per cent) sent out in July were infected with a computer virus.
  • They also found many of these airport lounge PCs were infected with computer viruses.
  • Antivirus software can only protect your computer from viruses trying to infect it via email, CD-Rom, floppy disk, Word documents or other types of computer files.
1.3(Of a negative feeling or idea) take hold of or be communicated to (someone): the panic in his voice infected her
More example sentences
  • He is out to remove the spectator from his normal or appropriate perceptual field, and in doing so to infect him with his own personal doubts.
  • It's a tendency that infects anybody that mistakes the Faith for an ideology (of which, more later).
  • The house was big, not as big as the one that had just infected her with a bad case of money envy, but still big.
Synonyms
affect, influence, have an impact on, touch; excite, inspire, stimulate, animate

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin infect- 'tainted', from the verb inficere, from in- 'into' + facere 'put, do'.

Derivatives

infector

Pronunciation: /-ˈfektər/
noun
More example sentences
  • Retroviruses are particularly insidious infectors as they use the inner ‘factory’ of the host cells to reproduce themselves, killing the host and spreading throughout the body.
  • File infectors are parasitic viruses that operate in memory.
  • We examine three state-of-the-art, system infectors and try to determine what's right for your agenda.

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