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fomite

definition

<strong>
  <font color="#000066">Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 6, 2021 is:</font>
</strong>



<strong>fomite</strong> &#8226; FOH-myte&nbsp; &#8226; <em>noun</em><br />
<p>A <em>fomite</em> is an object (such as a dish, doorknob, or article of clothing) that may be contaminated with bacteria or viruses and serve in their transmission.

//Everyday objects that are smooth, like our phones and credit cards, can be fomites.

See the entry >

<strong>Examples:</strong><br />
<p>"Sneezing and coughing can spread germs onto surfaces either through the droplets released from the sneeze or cough itself or through germs from the sneeze or cough getting onto the hands, which then come into contact with <em>fomites</em>." — Lois Zoppi, <em>News Medical</em>, 18 Feb. 2021

<strong>Did you know?</strong><br />
<p>"Disinfectant on your hands keeps us healthier and  fomites  no longer foment as much disease." Australian newspaper contributor Peter Goers was likely going for alliteration when he paired up <em>fomite</em> and <em><a href="https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foment">foment</a></em>, a verb meaning "to promote the growth or development of"—but, whether he realized it or not, the words <em>fomite</em> and <em>foment</em> are related. <em>Fomite</em> is a back-formation of <em>fomites</em>, the Latin plural of <em>fomes</em>, itself a word for "<a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tinder">tinder</a>." (Much like tinder is a catalyst of fire, a fomite can kindle disease.) <em>Fomes</em> is related to the Latin verb <em>fovēre</em> ("to heat"), an ancestor of <em>foment</em>.



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Ken Saunders

Freelancer, Gadget collector, Biohacker

Ken Saunders is a freelance writer, gadget collector and Biohacker. Kens’ professional background is in Information Technology as well as Health and Wellness. His experience has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He especially enjoys researching and writing articles on the topics of Technology, Food, and all things Freelancing. His articles have appeared in many online sites, including Lifehack.media, Andrew Christian, Alltherooms.com and Vocal.media.You can learn more about his services at http://www.ken-saunders.info.

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