antibiotic

noun
an·​ti·​bi·​ot·​ic | \ˌan-tē-bī-ˈä-tik, -ˌtī-;-bē-ˈä- \

Definition of antibiotic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a substance produced by or a semisynthetic (see semisynthetic sense 1) substance derived from a microorganism and able in dilute solution to inhibit or kill another microorganism The doctor prescribed an antibiotic to treat the infection.

antibiotic

adjective

Definition of antibiotic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : tending to prevent, inhibit, or destroy life

2 : of or relating to antibiotics or to antibiosis antibiotic drugs

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Other Words from antibiotic

Adjective

antibiotically \-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of antibiotic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some of these small molecules, which kill their fellow microbes, are already used (by us) as antibiotics. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Bacteria engage in chemical warfare against viruses," 5 Dec. 2018 The thief ant traipsing across your kitchen counter also produces an antibiotic that may eventually be useful against hard-to-fight infections. Lisa Margonelli, WSJ, "‘Never Home Alone’ Review: The Critters Chez Nous," 28 Nov. 2018 Your doctor will prescribe you with an antibiotic called metronidazole. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "What Are the Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis and How Do I Know if I Have It?," 18 Sep. 2018 Unlike the antibiotics produced from this, these mold spores can easily move throughout the home in the air and be inhaled, causing respiratory problems, pulmonary inflammation, asthma, and potentially chronic sinusitis. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "How To ID The Different Kinds Of Mold In Your House—And Their Cause," 17 Sep. 2018 Some people — especially children under the age of 5, adults over 65, and people with weakened immune systems — experience more severe symptoms and may require hospitalization and/or antibiotics. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Empire Kosher Chicken Linked to Salmonella Outbreak That's Killed One and Sickened 16 So Far," 30 Aug. 2018 Zoliflodacin has the potential to be an effective antibiotic for treating gonorrhea. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "New anti-gonorrhea drug called “metal as f–k”," 15 Nov. 2018 The only way to actually treat a urinary tract infection is to see your doctor and get on antibiotics, the Mayo Clinic explains. Korin Miller, SELF, "4 Causes Behind Urine So Foamy It Could Top a Beer," 4 Oct. 2018 Meanwhile, there’s widespread agreement among scientists that people in industrialized countries would do themselves a favor by going easy on antibiotics. Fortune, "Why Washing Your Hands Too Much Could Make You Sick," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The results suggest the success rate for antibiotic treatment was almost 64 percent, the authors said. Lindsey Tanner, The Seattle Times, "Antibiotics for appendicitis? Surgery often not needed," 25 Sep. 2018 Unknowingly using antibiotic treatment on resistant bacteria will only increase immunity to the drugs. Bartie Scott, Teen Vogue, "UTIs Are Reportedly Becoming More Resistant to Antibiotics," 23 Aug. 2018 And the location of the bacterial DNA—in a person’s tooth pulp—means the bug had entered the bloodstream, likely creating a septic reaction rarely seen in the antibiotic era. Kate Sheridan, Newsweek, "Ancient Mexican Civilization Nearly Wiped Out by Something Stuck in Their Teeth, New DNA Evidence Reveals," 15 Jan. 2018 Guests are assured that only locally sourced, fresh, natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats and produce are used whenever possible; and a good-sized takeout list includes Nigiri and seared filet mignon. Special To The Oregonian, OregonLive.com, "Gerry Frank's picks: Wild Rose, Kanpai offer delicious stops in Bend," 25 May 2018 Current antibiotic treatments only prevent surgery in 40% of patients, said Dr. Zlatko Kopecki, vice-president of the Australasian Wound & Tissue Repair Society. Euan Mckirdy, CNN, "Flesh-eating ulcer spreading in Australia and reasons remain a mystery," 16 Apr. 2018 Each year an estimated two million Americans become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. New York Times, "Using Harpoon-Like Appendages, Bacteria ‘Fish’ for New DNA," 14 June 2018 In just the last two decades, global antibiotic use has increased by 40 percent. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "New “Immunobiotic” Could Treat Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs," 6 July 2018 Earlier experience with the standardization of antibiotic prescribing shows that such a system can be effective. WSJ, "Should the Government Limit a Physician’s Ability to Treat Patients With Opioids?," 24 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antibiotic.' 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 antibiotic

Noun

1943, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for antibiotic

Noun

see biotic

Adjective

see biotic

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Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for antibiotic

The first known use of antibiotic was in 1891

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More Definitions for antibiotic

antibiotic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of antibiotic

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

antibiotic

noun
an·​ti·​bi·​ot·​ic | \ˌan-ti-bī-ˈä-tik \

Kids Definition of antibiotic

: a substance produced by living things and especially by bacteria and fungi that is used to kill or prevent the growth of harmful germs

antibiotic

adjective
an·​ti·​bi·​ot·​ic | \-bī-ˈät-ik; -bē- \

Medical Definition of antibiotic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : tending to prevent, inhibit, or destroy life

2 : of or relating to antibiotics or to antibiosis

Other Words from antibiotic

antibiotically \-​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

antibiotic

noun

Medical Definition of antibiotic (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on antibiotic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with antibiotic

Spanish Central: Translation of antibiotic

Nglish: Translation of antibiotic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of antibiotic for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about antibiotic

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