When someone's infected, they've been exposed to an organism that causes a disease. It's too late for an infected person to get a flu vaccine — they already have the flu.

In some cases, bodies of water can be described as infected, or contaminated with bacteria that can make people sick. Infected food or water supplies can make entire cities fall ill. And a classroom full of infected toddlers means that their teachers and families will probably catch their colds. Infected, from the verb infect, is rooted in the Latin inficere, "to spoil or stain."

Definitions of infected
  1. adjective
    containing or resulting from disease-causing organisms
    synonyms: septic
    detrimental to good health
    infected and filled with pus
    dirty, pestiferous
    contaminated with infecting organisms
    making impure by contact or mixing
    purulent, pussy
    containing pus
    infectious, infective
    caused by infection or capable of causing infection
    putrefacient, putrefactive
    causing or promoting bacterial putrefaction
    characteristic of septicemia
    full of germs or pathological microorganisms
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    thoroughly clean and free of or destructive to disease-causing organisms
    free from dirt or impurities; or having clean habits
    conducive to good health of body or mind
    aseptic, sterile
    free of or using methods to keep free of pathological microorganisms
    bactericidal, disinfectant, germicidal
    preventing infection by inhibiting the growth or action of microorganisms
    cleansing, purifying
    acting like an antiseptic
    not containing pus
    clean, uninfected
    free from sepsis or infection
    free from germs or pathogenic organisms; sterile
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