Word History

First Known Use

1994, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of SERM was in 1994

Dictionary Entries Near SERM

Cite this Entry

“SERM.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/SERM. Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


: selective estrogen receptor modulator
Dramatic research findings have recently focused new attention on so-called designer estrogens, the medicines known more technically as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). These agents behave like estrogen in some tissues but block its action in others.V. Craig Jordan, Scientific American
The structural features of each SERM differ so that unique ligand-induced conformational changes take place in the ER [estrogen receptor], which are thought to be the likely basis for tissue-selective pharmacology. For example, raloxifene operates as an estrogen agonist in bone but as an antagonist in the breast and uterus.Gideon A. Rodan et al., Science
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