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Sep 1, 2005
This week's theme
Words related to medicine

This week's words
rhinorrhea
alexiteric
atretic
fomites
styptic

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

fomites

fomites (FOM-i-teez) plural noun Pronunciation Sound Clip

Any inanimate object, such as a book, money, carpet, etc. that can transmit germs from one person to another.

[From Latin fomites, plural of fomes (touchwood, tinder), from fovere (to warm).]

See more usage examples of fomite in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

"You and your husband are really betting money that coins and currency are terrific fomites - inanimate objects that may be contaminated with infectious organisms and transmit them. But according to the Food and Drug Administration it's 'not likely.' The paper used for currency contains fungicidal chemicals that remain effective throughout the life of its circulation."
Diane Crowley; Bride-to-be Has Genetic Questions About Fiance; Chicago Sun-Times; May 7, 1989.

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