Agent that kills, or prevents the growth of, bacteria and other microorganisms. Chemical disinfectants include carbolic acid (phenol, used by Lister in surgery in the 1870s), ethanol, methanol, chlorine, and iodine.
An agent (as heat or radiation or a chemical) that destroys disease-carrying microorganisms; SYN. germicide, antimicrobic, antimicrobial.
Any oxidant, including but not limited to chlorine, chlorine dioxide, chloramines, and ozone, that is added to water in any part of the treatment or distribution process and is intended to kill or inactivate pathogenic microorganisms.