-ˈstir- How to pronounce corticosteroid (audio)
: any of various steroid hormones (such as cortisol, cortisone, or aldosterone) that are produced by the adrenal cortex (see cortex sense 1(a)1) from cholesterol
also : any of various synthetic derivatives (such as prednisone or dexamethasone) of these steroid hormones that are used as drugs

Note: Corticosteroids are classified according to their physiological activity as glucocorticoids, which chiefly regulate carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism, and mineralocorticoids, which chiefly regulate electrolyte and fluid balance in the body. Androgens (such as androstenedione) are also produced by the adrenal cortex and are sometimes classified as corticosteroids.

Examples of corticosteroid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In severe or chronic cases, a healthcare provider may temporarily prescribe corticosteroids to address the inflammation and bring relief.22 8. Health Editorial Team, Health, 30 Oct. 2023 Steroid-Free Treatments Some parents may be reluctant to use corticosteroids on their children because of possible side effects, such as thinning skin. Holly Pevzner, Parents, 8 Sep. 2023 Of note: Some birth control pills and corticosteroids may worsen acne. Jacqueline Andriakos, Health, 25 Aug. 2023 For melasma, topical corticosteroids aren't very effective on their own so you'll also be prescribed another topical treatment to be used along with them.6 Tretinoin Tretinoin is better known by brand names like Retin-A and Renova. Angela Palmer Updated, Verywell Health, 23 Aug. 2023 Instead, corticosteroids may help if healthcare providers diagnose the infection early. Korin Miller, Health, 6 Aug. 2023 In some cases, you might be prescribed an oral corticosteroid, like prednisone, or the injectable medication omalizumab. Erica Sweeney, Men's Health, 14 July 2023 These topical treatments may contain antihistamines or corticosteroids that help alleviate itching and redness. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 22 June 2023 Over the past decade, infections from this drug-resistant fungus have spread rapidly in South Asia, likely driven by overuse of medications to treat them, including topical antifungals and corticosteroids, the CDC report said. Erika Edwards, NBC News, 11 May 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1944, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of corticosteroid was in 1944

Dictionary Entries Near corticosteroid

Cite this Entry

“Corticosteroid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Medical Definition


ˌkȯrt-i-kō-ˈsti(ə)r-ˌȯid also -ˈste(ə)r-
: any of various adrenal-cortex steroids (as corticosterone, cortisone, and aldosterone) that are divided on the basis of their major biological activity into glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids

More from Merriam-Webster on corticosteroid

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