antibiotic


1an·ti·bi·ot·ic

adjective \ˌan-tē-bī-ˈä-tik, -ˌtī-; -bē-ˈä-\

Definition of ANTIBIOTIC

1
:  tending to prevent, inhibit, or destroy life
2
:  of or relating to antibiotics or to antibiosis
an·ti·bi·ot·i·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

First Known Use of ANTIBIOTIC

1891

Other Pharmacology Terms

anodyne, cathartic, emetic, emollient, liniment, paregoric, poultice, purgative, soporific, spectrum

2antibiotic

noun

medical : a drug that is used to kill harmful bacteria and to cure infections

Full Definition of ANTIBIOTIC

:  a substance produced by or a semisynthetic substance derived from a microorganism and able in dilute solution to inhibit or kill another microorganism

First Known Use of ANTIBIOTIC

1943

Other Pharmacology Terms

anodyne, cathartic, emetic, emollient, liniment, paregoric, poultice, purgative, soporific, spectrum

Rhymes with ANTIBIOTIC

antibiotic

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Chemical substance that in dilute solutions can inhibit the growth of microorganisms or destroy them with little or no harm to the infected host. Early antibiotics were natural microbial products, but chemists have modified the structures of many to produce semisynthetic and even wholly synthetic ones. Since the discovery of penicillin (1928), antibiotics have revolutionized the treatment of bacterial, fungal, and some other diseases. They are produced by many actinomycetes (e.g., streptomycin, tetracycline) and other bacteria (e.g., polypeptides such as bacitracin) and by fungi (e.g., penicillin). Antibiotics may be broad-spectrum (active against a wide range of pathogens) or specific (active against one, or one class). Drawbacks include activity against beneficial microorganisms, often causing diarrhea; allergies; and development of drug-resistant strains of the targeted microorganisms.

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