cho·​les·​ter·​ol | \ kə-ˈle-stə-ˌrōl How to pronounce cholesterol (audio) , -ˌrȯl \

Definition of cholesterol

: a steroid alcohol C27H45OH that is present in animal cells and body fluids, regulates membrane fluidity, and functions as a precursor molecule in various metabolic pathways and as a constituent of LDL may cause atherosclerosis — compare bad cholesterol, good cholesterol

Examples of cholesterol in a Sentence

Did your doctor check your cholesterol?
Recent Examples on the Web Coronavirus patients in Chinese hospitals who were taking statin drugs fared better than those who were not taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs, researchers reported Thursday. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Friday, June 26," 26 June 2020 Metz also ran bloodwork, which revealed high cholesterol and estrogen that had dropped to menopausal levels, both of which are common side effects of anorexia. Virginia Sole-smith, Scientific American, "What if Doctors Stopped Prescribing Weight Loss?," 16 June 2020 Others feared patients skipping colonoscopies and cholesterol screenings that are critical to catching strokes, heart attacks and tumors. Mallory Moench,, "Bay Area doctors worry about patients skipping preventive medical care during coronavirus pandemic," 18 June 2020 There are drugs for blood pressure and cholesterol and follow-ups with the family doctor. Cameron Knight,, "'We will still do our job': Local police agree with some aspects of 'defund police' movement," 15 June 2020 The White House released the results of President Trump's annual physical on Wednesday, noting that Trump had gained a pound since his last physical but lowered his cholesterol. Harold Maass, TheWeek, "10 things you need to know today: June 4, 2020," 4 June 2020 By making a super-concentrated coffee extract, the BOD system produces a cold brew that is lower in acid and features fewer supposedly cholesterol-elevating compounds. Popular Science, "The best ways to get your iced coffee fix," 4 June 2020 But his total cholesterol dropped to 167 from 196 last year. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "A pound heavier but with lower cholesterol, Trump 'remains healthy,' annual physical shows," 3 June 2020 Studies have also shown that the chemicals have been linked to reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney and immunological effects in laboratory animals, and have caused tumors and increased cholesterol levels. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What you should know about PFAS, or 'forever' chemicals, contaminating drinking water in parts of Wisconsin," 27 Apr. 2020

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

1894, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cholesterol

International Scientific Vocabulary, from chol- + Greek stereos solid

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Time Traveler for cholesterol

Time Traveler

The first known use of cholesterol was in 1894

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Statistics for cholesterol

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cholesterol.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce cholesterol (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cholesterol

: a substance that is found in the bodies of people and animals


cho·​les·​ter·​ol | \ kə-ˈles-tə-ˌrōl, -ˌrȯl How to pronounce cholesterol (audio) \

Medical Definition of cholesterol

: a steroid alcohol C27H45OH that is present in animal cells and body fluids, regulates membrane fluidity, functions as a precursor molecule in various metabolic pathways, and as a constituent of LDL may cause atherosclerosis Cholesterol is a lipid present in the cell membrane and subcellular organelles of tissues throughout the body. … In addition, cholesterol serves as the building block for all steroid hormones including cortisol, aldosterone, estrogen, and testosterone.— Sarah de Ferranti and David S. Ludwig, The New England Journal of Medicine, 25 Sept. 2008 … the drug reduces the production of cholesterol in the liver, decreasing the amount of artery-clogging cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream.Newsweek, 8 Dec. 1986

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