an·​ti·​bac·​te·​ri·​al | \ˌan-tē-bak-ˈtir-ē-əl, ˌan-ˌtī-\

Definition of antibacterial 

: directed or effective against bacteria antibacterial soap an antibacterial drug

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Other Words from antibacterial

antibacterial noun
In an effort to develop new antifungals, scientists are boning up on previous research on antibacterials. — Ellen Licking

Examples of antibacterial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This potent honey mask has powerful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties that can beautify, protect, and balance your skin. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Meet the New Manuka Honey Brand that Belongs in Every Pantry," 13 Aug. 2018 Propolis — the sticky substance derived from tree resin that bees use to coat the hive — has impressive antifungal and antibacterial effects on skin. Cristina Mueller, Town & Country, "Beauty and the Bees," 6 Dec. 2012 Some researchers tout the compound’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties; others point to preliminary studies in mice showing that CBG promotes the creation of new brain cells. Amanda Chicago Lewis, WSJ, "Not Everybody Must Get Stoned: Pot’s Nonintoxicating Future," 25 Oct. 2018 For instance, muds that contain sulfur have antibacterial and antifungal properties, zinc has wound healing and anti-acne effects, magnesium helps the body repair damaged DNA and is important in reducing inflammation. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "I Bathed in Colombia’s “Volcano of Youth” and My Skin Has Never Felt Softer," 23 Oct. 2018 Where an antibacterial product kills off acne-causing bacteria, an antiseptic will prohibit the growth of that bacteria in the first place. Megan Mcintyre, Glamour, "This Face Wash Is the Only Thing That Helped My Acne," 29 Aug. 2018 Dilute the tea tree oil in a carrier oil, like antibacterial coconut oil, before applying twice a day until the bite is healed. Mandy Ferreira, Good Housekeeping, "13 Amazingly Useful Things You Can Do With Tea Tree Essential Oil," 27 July 2017 Developed by New Zealand holistic trichologist Nigel Russell, this natural botanical line comes in eco-friendly packaging and is made with aloe vera and manuka honey, which is known for its soothing and antibacterial properties. Rachel Marlowe, Vogue, "This All-Green Apothecary in New Zealand Is Worth a Trek Across the Globe," 29 May 2018 This is because fragrant, antibacterial, or otherwise harsh products can wash away too much of your skin’s natural moisture, according to the Mayo Clinic. Korin Miller, SELF, "How to Know When Your Dry Skin Is Actually Eczema," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antibacterial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of antibacterial

1879, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for antibacterial

The first known use of antibacterial was in 1879

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More Definitions for antibacterial


an·​ti·​bac·​te·​ri·​al | \ˌant-i-bak-ˈtir-ē-əl, ˌan-ˌtī- \

Medical Definition of antibacterial 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: directed or effective against bacteria



Medical Definition of antibacterial (Entry 2 of 2)

: an antibacterial agent

More from Merriam-Webster on antibacterial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with antibacterial

Comments on antibacterial

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a knickknack or trinket

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