Definition of infection in English:



mass noun
  • 1The process of infecting or the state of being infected.

    ‘strict hygiene will limit the risk of infection’
    ‘a reddening of the skin at the site of infection’
    • ‘Vaccination has a role in clusters of meningococcal serogroup C infection.’
    • ‘Warming people up before they undergo surgery seems to reduce their risk of wound infection.’
    • ‘Haematogenous spread of infection is very common in this age group and in immuno-compromised patients.’
    • ‘This reduction was not accompanied by an increased risk of infection.’
    • ‘The blood supply in this area is much better and the risk of infection therefore much less.’
    • ‘The critical issue is that the child is protected for the first five years of life when the risk of persistent infection is high.’
    • ‘There is a risk of infection to a middle ear exposed by barotrauma.’
    • ‘When possible, urinary catheters should be avoided to minimise the risk of infection.’
    • ‘It can also help to reduce the inflammation and infection associated with acne.’
    • ‘This causes the skin to blister on contact, which can result in infection, sepsis, and death.’
    • ‘Contact with cats, kittens, cats' faeces, or cats who hunt for food was not a risk factor for infection.’
    • ‘If your spleen has to be taken out, you may have an increased risk of severe infection.’
    • ‘Patients at risk of infection can be identified and treated and colonisation eradicated.’
    • ‘Streptococci readily gained access to the blood stream from this site of infection.’
    • ‘In children, the major causes of anemia are dietary iron deficiency and infection.’
    • ‘Two patients developed respiratory infection and expired during the hospital stay.’
    • ‘The risk of a fatal outcome for the foetus is highest with infection during the second trimester.’
    • ‘This patient was treated and did not have any evidence of fungal infection at autopsy.’
    • ‘The use of combination therapy for HIV infection has strikingly reduced transmission rates.’
    • ‘This left both the students and those with whom they came into contact at higher risk of meningococcal infection.’
    contamination, poison
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1count noun An infectious disease.
      ‘a chest infection’
      • ‘Most chest infections are usually caused by germs such as bacteria or viruses.’
      • ‘This is roughly equal to the total number of HIV infections in the world today.’
      • ‘These infections can be passed from one person to another during intimate physical contact.’
      • ‘The rate of shedding is much lower for infections caused by herpes simplex virus type 1.’
      • ‘He was also interested in the contribution of viral infections to chronic fatigue syndrome.’
      • ‘There are immunisations for several of the infections that can cause pneumonia.’
      • ‘Most requests were from people whose work or leisure activities put them at potential risk of this infection.’
      • ‘Eventually, they end up in a coma and are likely to die of secondary infections such as pneumonia.’
      • ‘The section above explains what measures you can take to prevent acute middle ear infections and glue ear.’
      • ‘There are a number of causes of meningitis, including viral and bacterial infections.’
      • ‘Rarely, some children develop secondary infections such as an ear infection or pneumonia.’
      • ‘Do you think the smoking is connected to these chest infections you've had?’
      • ‘Anaemia, an overactive thyroid gland and infections can also cause heart failure.’
      • ‘The prostate gland is just below the bladder, and infections can pass both ways along the urethra.’
      • ‘Fungal skin infections are divided into groups depending on what type of organism is involved.’
      • ‘Most bacterial infections can be treated with one or a couple of drugs in a matter of days or a week or so.’
      • ‘When they do happen, they are similar to other viral infections such as glandular fever.’
      • ‘If the virus is cleared with treatment, you are not immune to future infections with hepatitis C.’
      • ‘Fungal nail infections can be treated with antifungal nail paints or tablets such as terbinafine.’
      • ‘Possible complications include wound and chest infections and abnormal heart rhythms.’
      disease, virus, contagion
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Computing The presence of a virus in, or its introduction into, a computer system.
      • ‘In other words don't open suspect attachments, if you want to avoid infection from SirCam.’
      • ‘We are our own worst enemies when it comes to infection with computer viruses, but lessons do seem to be being learned.’
      • ‘Users are advised to use personal firewalls and anti-virus defences to defend against infection.’
      • ‘Once your system is patched you should update your antivirus software and run it to detect and remove virus infection.’
      • ‘NTL hopes to shepherd users with virus infection to special websites to help them clean their computer.’


Late Middle English: from late Latin infectio(n-), from Latin inficere ‘dip in, taint’ (see infect).