disinfect

To disinfect something is to clean it so thoroughly that you kill any bacteria that might have been living on it. It's particularly important to disinfect cuts and scratches.

You can disinfect your kitchen counters with cleaning products, or disinfect a scrape by washing it with soap and water. Public swimming pools have chlorine added to their water to disinfect them, and bleach is a good all-purpose chemical used to disinfect floors, laundry, and other things that might be harboring nasty bugs. Infect comes from a Latin root word, inficere, "to spoil or stain." Adding the prefix dis-, "do the opposite of," gives you disinfect.

Definitions of disinfect
  1. verb
    destroy microorganisms or pathogens by cleansing
    disinfect a wound”
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    infect, taint
    contaminate with a disease or microorganism
    types:
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    sterilise, sterilize
    make free from bacteria
    antisepticize
    disinfect with an antiseptic
    chlorinate
    disinfect with chlorine
    autoclave
    subject to the action of an autoclave
    type of:
    clean, make clean
    make clean by removing dirt, filth, or unwanted substances from
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week