an·ti·mi·cro·bi·al | \ˌan-ti-mī-ˈkrō-bē-əl \

Definition of antimicrobial 

: destroying or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms and especially pathogenic microorganisms

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from antimicrobial

antimicrobial noun

Examples of antimicrobial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Farm to Feet Max Patch Socks ($23) Featuring stretchy Lycra sandwiched between durable nylon and soft, antimicrobial merino. Blair Braverman, Outside Online, "Summer's Best Workwear for Men and Women," 28 June 2018 The Access to Medicines Foundation noted that Novartis had 32 antimicrobial research and development projects in its pipeline. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Most drug price hikes occurred before Azar arrived; Novartis abandons antibiotics," 12 July 2018 Scientific evidence proves its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which in turn, kill acne bacteria and reduce the size of pimples. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Everything You Need to Know About Putting Oils on Your Face," 12 July 2018 Black paper mulch made from recycled paper is also available, but these products are usually treated with a synthetic antimicrobial substance to prevent them from breaking down too quickly. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "What Every Gardener Should Know About Mulching," 28 Feb. 2017 More than 80 health-care companies, including Pfizer Inc., Novartis AG and GlaxoSmithKline Plc, pledged to help fight antimicrobial resistance at the World Economic Forum in 2016. Ari Altstedter,, "The Startups Waging War Against Superbugs," 25 June 2018 The lab typically tackles questions about how antimicrobial agents can affect communities of bacteria — so as to better understand antibiotic resistance and other ways bacterial communities affect human health. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "Vegan Kimchi Is Microbially Pretty Close to the Original," 7 May 2018 According to a news release, Crawford’s wound dressing portfolio includes its highly absorbent KerraMax Care range as well as KerraFoam foam and KerraCell antimicrobial gelling fiber. Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio wound care leader Acelity acquires Crawford Healthcare," 8 June 2018 Studies show that the acid contained in bile does have medical benefits in dissolving gallstones or treating some liver disease, as well as some anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Author: Simon Denyer, Anchorage Daily News, "From hemorrhoids to hangovers: Bear bile is treasured in China, and that’s bad for captive bears," 3 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of antimicrobial

1891, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about antimicrobial

Share antimicrobial

Statistics for antimicrobial

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for antimicrobial

The first known use of antimicrobial was in 1891

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for antimicrobial


an·ti·mi·cro·bi·al | \ˌant-i-mī-ˌkrō-bē-əl \
variants: also antimicrobic \-ˈkrō-bik \

Medical Definition of antimicrobial 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: destroying or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms and especially pathogenic microorganisms


variants: also antimicrobic

Medical Definition of antimicrobial (Entry 2 of 2)

: an antimicrobial substance

Comments on antimicrobial

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


required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
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!