Etymology
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fomites (n.)

"inanimate objects that, when contaminated with or exposed to infectious agents, can retain and transfer the disease," plural of fomes (1650s), which is from medical Latin fomes (used in this sense first by Fracastoro, 16c., probably on the notion of "fuel"), from Latin fomes, fomitis "kindling-wood, touchwood, tinder," from fovere "to warm, keep warm" (see fever). The classically incorrect back-formed singular fomite is attested from 1859.

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