SKIP TO CONTENT

pathogenic

Something that's pathogenic makes you sick, like a virus you pick up after riding on a bus full of coughing people.

Pathogenic is a medical term that describes viruses, bacteria, and other types of germs that can cause some kind of disease. The flu, various parasites, and athlete's foot fungus are all considered to be pathogenic. This word has been used since the late 1800s to mean "producing disease," from the French pathogénique, which in turn came from the Greek word for "disease," pathos.

Definitions of pathogenic
  1. adjective
    able to cause disease
    pathogenic bacteria”
    synonyms: infective, morbific
    unhealthful
    detrimental to good health
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