Definition of infection noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɪnˈfekʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈfekʃn//
    Being ill
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  1. 1  [uncountable] the act or process of causing or getting a disease to be exposed to infection to increase the risk of infection see also cross-infection compare contagion See related entries: Being ill
  2. 2  [countable] an illness that is caused by bacteria or a virus and that affects one part of the body an ear/throat, etc. infection to spread an infection
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: from late Latin infectio(n-), from Latin inficere ‘dip in, taint’, from in- ‘into’ + facere ‘put, do’. Synonymsdiseaseillness disorder infection condition ailment bugThese are all words for a medical problem.disease a medical problem affecting humans, animals or plants, often caused by infection:He suffers from a rare blood disease.illness a medical problem, or a period of suffering from one:She died after a long illness.disease or illness?Disease is used to talk about more severe physical medical problems, especially those that affect the organs. Illness is used to talk about both more severe and more minor medical problems, and those that affect mental health:heart/​kidney/​liver illness mental disease. Disease is not used about a period of illness:She died after a long disease.disorder (rather formal) an illness that causes a part of the body to stop functioning correctly:a rare disorder of the liver. A disorder is generally not infectious. Disorder is used most frequently with words relating to mental problems, for example psychiatric, personality, mental and eating. When it is used to talk about physical problems, it is most often used with blood, bowel and kidney, and these are commonly serious, severe or rare.infection an illness that is caused by bacteria or a virus and that affects one part of the body:a throat infectioncondition a medical problem that you have for a long time because it is not possible to cure it:a heart conditionailment (rather formal) an illness that is not very serious:childhood ailmentsbug (informal) an infectious illness that is usually fairly mild:a nasty flu bugPatterns to have/​suffer from a(n) disease/​illness/​disorder/​infection/​condition/​ailment/​bug to catch/​contract/​get/​pick up a(n) disease/​illness/​infection/​bug Wordfinderbacteria, disease, epidemic, fever, illness, immunity, infection, spread, vaccinate, virusExtra examples Almost all the sheep on the farm carried the infection. Goats appear to be more susceptible to the infection than sheep. He’s suffering from an acute infection of the lower respiratory tract. He’s suffering from an acute lung infection. Heavy lung infections may result in pneumonia. If the primary infection is not treated further outbreaks may occur. In acute infections of the urinary tract the patient may suffer severe pain. Normally, white blood cells fight off and kill infections. Over 90% of all new infections occur in the developing world. She’s always getting chest infections. Taking vitamin C builds up your resistance to infection. The drug must be taken from the onset of the infection. The infection is passed on through the horse feed. The urethra was the primary site of infection. The virus affects the body’s immune system so that it cannot fight infection. They want to prevent the infection spreading to other parts of the body. Vaccination is essential to protect people exposed to hepatitis B infection. We are trying to trace the source of infection. an infection that occurs in swans infection from sewage water infection of people by the virus infection through unsafe sex infection with bacteria to protect the body from infection He’s been off work with a throat infection. Sneezing is the most common way of spreading an infection.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: infection