an·​ti·​me·​tab·​o·​lite | \ˌan-tē-mə-ˈta-bə-ˌlīt, ˌan-ˌtī-\

Definition of antimetabolite 

: a substance that is structurally similar to a metabolite (such as a coenzyme) and that serves to inhibit a particular cellular function (such as DNA synthesis) by interfering with or blocking the metaboliteʼs action From the start [Gertrude] Elion concentrated her research on using purine and pyrimidine antimetabolites to interfere with the synthesis of nucleic acids …— Mairin Brennan

Other Words from antimetabolite

antimetabolic \ ˌan-​tē-​ˌme-​tə-​ˈbä-​lik , ˌan-​tī-​ \ adjective
a drug with antimetabolic action

First Known Use of antimetabolite

1945, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about antimetabolite

Share antimetabolite

Statistics for antimetabolite

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for antimetabolite

The first known use of antimetabolite was in 1945

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for antimetabolite


an·​ti·​me·​tab·​o·​lite | \ˌant-i-mə-ˈtab-ə-ˌlīt, ˌan-ˌtī- \

Medical Definition of antimetabolite 

: a substance (as a sulfa drug) that replaces or inhibits the utilization of a metabolite Antimetabolites, such as methotrexate masquerade as essential nutrients, which the cell uses instead of real nutrients and thus dies.— Jane E. Brody, The New York Times, 15 May 1985 antimetabolite therapy

Other Words from antimetabolite

antimetabolic \ -​ˌmet-​ə-​ˈbäl-​ik \ adjective
In addition to its antimetabolic effects, methotrexate has immunological effects … — Robert S. Stern, The Lancet, 2 Aug. 1997

More from Merriam-Webster on antimetabolite Encyclopedia article about antimetabolite

Comments on antimetabolite

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


a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!