co·​lis·​tin kə-ˈli-stən How to pronounce colistin (audio)
: a polymyxin produced by a bacterium (Bacillus polymyxa var. colistinus) from Japanese soil

Examples of colistin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web About a decade ago, doctors needing a last-resort antibiotic turned to an old but still-effective antibiotic called colistin to cure highly resistant infections. Wired, 19 Sep. 2019 While India’s drugs technical advisory board, part of the ministry of health and family welfare, has recommended that colistin and other antimicrobials should not be used in agriculture, there is no formal ban. Ranjit Devraj, Quartz India, 23 July 2019 The researchers also sequenced the genomes of bacteria resisting colistin and those susceptible to it. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 9 Mar. 2018 In fact, the bacteria is resistant to the last-resort antibiotic colistin. Reuters, Newsweek, 26 May 2016 Across the world, researchers in China have documented colistin-resistant Shigella flexneri, a form of bacteria that causes severe diarrhea and was discovered on a pig farm. Matthew Wellington, STAT, 19 Mar. 2018 Researchers at Emory University found that a common type of resistant bacteria, Klebsiella pneumoniae, can mask resistance to colistin. Matthew Wellington, STAT, 19 Mar. 2018 This isn’t the first time scientists have identified bacterial heteroresistance to colistin. Betsy McKay, WSJ, 6 Mar. 2018 Recent reports cite different forms of bacteria in both people and animals resisting colistin, an antibiotic that doctors prescribe when other treatment options fail. Matthew Wellington, STAT, 19 Mar. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'colistin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin colistinus, specific epithet of the bacterium producing it

First Known Use

1951, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of colistin was in 1951

Dictionary Entries Near colistin

Cite this Entry

“Colistin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


co·​lis·​tin kə-ˈlis-tən, kō- How to pronounce colistin (audio)
: a polymyxin produced by a bacterium of the genus Bacillus (B. polymyxa var. colistinus) and used against some gram-negative pathogens especially of the genera Pseudomonas, Escherichia, Klebsiella, and Shigella
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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