AskDefine | Define infusion

Dictionary Definition



1 a solution obtained by steeping or soaking a substance (usually in water) [syn: extract]
2 the process of extracting certain active properties (as a drug from a plant) by steeping or soaking (usually in water)
3 (medicine) the passive introduction of a substance (a fluid or drug or electrolyte) into a vein or between tissues (as by gravitational force)
4 the act of infusing or introducing a certain modifying element or quality; "the team's continued success is attributable to a steady infusion of new talent"

User Contributed Dictionary



[in]fu(n)do fu(n)dere fusi fusum: to pour.



  1. That which is infused. This is the most common meaning.
  2. The act of steeping or soaking a substance in liquid so as to extract medicinal or herbal qualities.
  3. The act of installing a quality into a person.
  4. (obsolete) The act of dipping into a fluid.


*1602 : William Shakespeare, Hamlet , act V scene 1
  • [...] but in the verity of extolment
    I take him to be a soul of great article and his infusion
    of such dearth and rareness as, to make true diction of
    him, his semblable in his mirror, and who else would
    trace him, his umbrage, nothing more.


That which is infused. This is the most common meaning
The act of steeping or soaking a substance in liquid so as to extract medicinal or herbal qualities
The act of installing a quality into a person
The act of dipping into a fluid

Extensive Definition

For other uses of the word "infusion", see Infusion (disambiguation)
An infusion is water or oil in which plants with a desired flavour have been steeped.


  • Herbs or other plants can be placed in boiling water for a few minutes, then discarded, and the water drunk as a beverage. A common example is tea. Many other drinks, often called herbal teas although they may contain no tealeaves, are prepared in this way. Lemon, chamomile, senna, apple, ginger, rooibos, and a great many other plants are used individually or in combination. Infusions of this type are sometimes drunk for pleasure; others are claimed to be advantageous for health.
  • Herbal remedies and essential oils are prepared with 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried herb, or 2 to 4 fresh herbs, or flowers or berries, infused in oil or water (which does not need to be boiled) for about ten minutes and strained. Waiting too long before straining results in a bitter-tasting infusion. The herb/botanical is then removed from the oil and the oil is used in the many recipes or methods which call for short-term infused oils.
  • Plants with desirable flavours may be steeped in an edible oil or vinegar for an extended period; the infused oil or vinegar is often sold still containing the plant, and is then used as flavouring. Chillies, lemon, garlic, and many other plants may be used. There can be ambiguity: for example, what is described as sesame oil may be oil extracted from sesame seeds, or an inferior quality vegetable oil infused with sesame.
The first recorded use of essential oils was in the 10th century by the Persian chemist Avicenna.
infusion in Asturian: Infusión
infusion in Catalan: Infusió
infusion in German: Liste der Heißgetränke
infusion in Spanish: Infusión
infusion in French: Infusion
infusion in Italian: Infuso
infusion in Latin: Infusum
infusion in Norwegian: Infusjon
infusion in Russian: Настой (лекарственная форма)
infusion in Simple English: Infusion
infusion in Slovenian: Poparek

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

absorption and regurgitation, afflatus, affusion, animating spirit, animation, animus, aspergation, aspersion, baptism, baptismal gown, baptismal regeneration, baptistery, baptizement, brainwashing, brewing, catechization, chemical solution, chrismal, christening, concentrate, concentration, conditioning, dash, decoction, dictation, distillate, distillation, divine afflatus, drench, drenching, ducking, dunking, elixir, embedment, enlivenment, entrance, essence, exhilaration, expression, extract, extraction, fire, firing, font, genius, graft, grafting, hint, imbruement, imbuement, immersion, impaction, impactment, implantation, impregnation, impression, inculcation, indoctrination, infection, infiltration, infixation, infixion, injection, inkling, inoculation, insertion, insinuation, inspiration, instillation, instillment, interjection, interpenetration, interpolation, intimation, introduction, intromission, leach, leachate, leaching, lixiviation, lixivium, maceration, marination, mixture, moving spirit, penetration, percolation, perfusion, permeation, pervasion, pressing, pulping, purification, quintessence, refinement, reindoctrination, rendering, rendition, saturation, sauce, seasoning, seething, shade, smack, soak, soakage, soaking, solution, sopping, soupcon, souse, sousing, spice, spirit, sprinkling, squeezing, steeping, suffusion, suggestion, suspicion, taint, tempering, tessellation, thought, tinct, tincture, tinge, tint, total immersion, touch, trace, transplant, transplantation, vestige
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