cor·​ti·​co·​ste·​roid | \ ˌkȯr-ti-kō-ˈster-ˌȯid, -ˈstir- How to pronounce corticosteroid (audio) \

Definition of corticosteroid

: 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 Additionally, a meta-analysis of seven randomized trials found that patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who took a corticosteroid had a lower death rate than those who did not. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "Hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, remdesevir, and more: The evidence on proposed COVID-19 treatments," 2 Jan. 2021 In Kentucky, Gamine tested positive for betamethasone, a corticosteroid injected into joints to reduce pain and swelling. Joe Drape, New York Times, "Bob Baffert at the Breeders’ Cup: Awash in Favorites and Suspicion," 5 Nov. 2020 Adam Kitchingman is $500 when his horse Adens Dream tested positive for Methylprednisolone, a corticosteroid. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Horse racing newsletter: Abel Cedillo gets five winners," 2 Nov. 2020 Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid used primarily to relieve inflammation, the US National Library of Medicine says. Amber Brenza,, "Donald Trump's COVID-19 Treatment Plan: What to Know About The President's Medications," 5 Oct. 2020 Another newly famous drug is dexamethasone, a corticosteroid that is being used to treat COVID-19. Roger J. Kreuz, CNN, "The pandemic is changing the English language," 16 Oct. 2020 Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid, a type of anti-inflammatory drug. Dallas News, "Here are the drugs being used to treat coronavirus patients," 13 Oct. 2020 The president also received a corticosteroid called dexamethasone as well as Remdesivir, an antiviral manufactured by Gilead Sciences Inc. Justin Sink,, "Trump No Longer Considered a Transmission Risk, Doctor Says," 11 Oct. 2020 Trump has also received dexamethasone, a cheap and widely available corticosteroid that can reduce inflammation. Holly Yan, CNN, "How Trump's Covid-19 treatment is far different from what most American patients get," 5 Oct. 2020

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

1944, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of corticosteroid was in 1944

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Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Corticosteroid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for corticosteroid


cor·​ti·​co·​ste·​roid | \ ˌkȯrt-i-kō-ˈsti(ə)r-ˌȯid also -ˈste(ə)r- \

Medical Definition of corticosteroid

: 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

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