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


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