an·​ti·​bac·​te·​ri·​al ˌan-tē-bak-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce antibacterial (audio) ˌan-ˌtī- How to pronounce antibacterial (audio)
: directed or effective against bacteria
antibacterial soap
an antibacterial drug
antibacterial noun
In an effort to develop new antifungals, scientists are boning up on previous research on antibacterials. Ellen Licking

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Upholding its traditional reputation, modern studies have supported this fungi's potential anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects - playing a key role in building up our body’s defenses! Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 9 Jan. 2023 Cranberries — in addition to being a superfood and a true vitamin bomb — are known to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that pamper the skin. Debbi Kickham, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2022 Help improve scalp conditions, including soreness and buildup that can hinder hair growth, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Dori Price, Good Housekeeping, 20 Apr. 2022 Among them are echinacea (said to fortify the epidermis by increasing levels of lipids and ceramides), American ginseng (which has antioxidant properties) and lemon balm (known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities). New York Times, 10 Nov. 2021 Lanolin has been found to have antibacterial properties that may protect the skin from infection and irritation while also moisturizing it. Dallas News, 18 Jan. 2023 Made from Manuka honey, which is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, the formula is soothing and healing for irritated, itchy, and/or dry skin. Olivia O'bryon, Forbes, 18 Dec. 2022 Sea moss has antibacterial properties that can help to fight infections. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2022 Botanik uses a blend of essential oils to lend its fresh evergreen scent and provide antibacterial properties. Cristina Montemayor, Men's Health, 12 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1879, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of antibacterial was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near antibacterial

Cite this Entry

“Antibacterial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


: directed or effective against bacteria
antibacterial soap

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
an·​ti·​bac·​te·​ri·​al ˌant-i-bak-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce antibacterial (audio) ˌan-ˌtī- How to pronounce antibacterial (audio)
: directed or effective against bacteria


2 of 2 noun
: an antibacterial agent

More from Merriam-Webster on antibacterial

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