1. Capable of destroying pathogenic microorganisms or inhibiting their growth activity. 2. An agent that possesses this property.
- complete d. a d. that kills both vegetative forms and spores.
- incomplete d. a d. that kills only the vegetative forms, leaving the spores uninjured.

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dis·in·fec·tant -'fek-tənt n an agent that frees from infection esp a chemical that destroys vegetative forms of harmful microorganisms (as bacteria and fungi) esp. on inanimate objects but that may be less effective in destroying spores
disinfectant adj serving or tending to disinfect: suitable for use in disinfecting

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an agent that destroys or removes bacteria and other microorganisms and is used to cleanse surgical instruments and other objects. Examples are cresol, hexachlorophene, and phenol. Dilute solutions of some disinfectants may be used as antiseptic or as preservatives in solutions of eye drops or injections.

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dis·in·fec·tant (dis″in-fekґtənt) 1. an agent that disinfects; applied particularly to agents used on inanimate objects. Cf. antimicrobial and antiseptic. 2. freeing from infection.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • disinfectant — n *antiseptic, germicide, bactericide disinfectant adj antiseptic, germicidal, bactericidal (see under ANTISEPTIC n) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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  • disinfectant — 1837 (n.); 1875 (adj.), from Fr. désinfectant (1816), originally prp. of désinfecter (see DISINFECT (Cf. disinfect)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • disinfectant — ► NOUN ▪ a chemical liquid that destroys bacteria. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ causing disinfection …   English terms dictionary

  • disinfectant — [dis΄in fek′tənt] adj. [Fr désinfectant] disinfecting n. anything that disinfects; means for destroying harmful bacteria, viruses, etc …   English World dictionary

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  • disinfectant — [[t]dɪ̱sɪnfe̱ktənt[/t]] disinfectants N MASS Disinfectant is a substance that kills germs. It is used, for example, for cleaning kitchens and bathrooms. Effluent from the sedimentation tank is dosed with disinfectant to kill any harmful organisms …   English dictionary

  • disinfectant — /dis in fek teuhnt/, n. 1. any chemical agent used chiefly on inanimate objects to destroy or inhibit the growth of harmful organisms. adj. 2. serving as a disinfectant. [1830 40; < F désinfectant, n. use of prp. of désinfecter, MF. See DISINFECT …   Universalium

  • disinfectant — UK [ˌdɪsɪnˈfektənt] / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms disinfectant : singular disinfectant plural disinfectants a chemical substance that kills bacteria and is used for making things very clean …   English dictionary

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