Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

chemotherapy

play
noun che·mo·ther·a·py \-ˈther-ə-pē\

Simple Definition of chemotherapy

  • medical : the use of chemicals to treat or control a disease (such as cancer)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of chemotherapy

  1. :  the use of chemical agents in the treatment or control of disease (as cancer) or mental illness

chemotherapist play \-pist\ noun

Origin of chemotherapy

International Scientific Vocabulary


First Known Use: 1910


Medical Dictionary

chemotherapy

play
noun che·mo·ther·a·py \-ˈther-ə-pē\

Medical Definition of chemotherapy

plural chemotherapies

  1. :  the therapeutic use of chemical agents to treat disease <Pyrazinamide is one of the most important drugs in modern chemotherapy of tuberculosis …—Max Salfinger et al., The Journal of the American Medical Association, 22 Mar. 1995>; especially :  the administration of one or more cytotoxic drugs to destroy or inhibit the growth and division of malignant cells in the treatment of cancer <Cancer cells mutate at a furious rate, and they can evolve the means to resist most chemotherapy drugs, requiring higher and more toxic doses to achieve an effect.—Shannon Brownlee and Nancy Shute, U.S. News & World Report, 18 May 1998> <Neutropenia and infection are major dose-limiting side effects of chemotherapy.—Jeffrey Crawford et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, 18 July 1991>—called also Chemotherapy may be used alone as a primary treatment or may be used before, after, or in conjunction with surgery or radiation.





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up chemotherapy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to work hard

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

prompt oily maudlin angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ