cor·​ti·​co·​ste·​roid | \ ˌkȯr-ti-kō-ˈstir-ˌȯid also -ˈster- 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, medications such as corticosteroids, lithium, or androgens can cause acne as a side effect, the Mayo Clinic says. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "8 Causes of Adult Acne—and How to Actually Treat It," 31 Oct. 2019 Getting a corticosteroid shot usually does not require an overnight stay. Mayo Clinic News Network,, "Treating osteoarthritis with corticosteroid injections," 4 Oct. 2019 For more severe reactions, your dermatologist may prescribe a topical corticosteroid cream or an oral steroid medication to reduce the inflammation. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "How to Care for Your Angry Skin After an Allergic Reaction on Your Face," 2 Apr. 2019 Other treatment methods include corticosteroids, per the NLM, to help reduce inflammation in the lungs. Maggie O'neill,, "How Can You Get Chemical Pneumonia From Vaping? Pulmonologists Explain," 29 Aug. 2019 After the change last year, more positive results for corticosteroids began turning up. Washington Post, "Lawsuit by owner, trainer targets New Mexico horse racing," 29 Aug. 2019 Go into the dermatologist’s office for a shot of this corticosteroid, and acne will disappear in 24 to 48 hours. Jessica Cruel, SELF, "12 Acne Treatments That Really Work, According to Dermatologists," 8 Aug. 2019 As far as topical treatments go—that means medication that can be directly applied to the skin—corticosteroids that can be applied as a foam, shampoo, cream, gel or lotion are often prescribed. Lambeth Hochwald,, "4 Things To Know About Scalp Psoriasis, According To Dermatologists," 2 Aug. 2019 In one procession are the discoverers and synthesizers of various antibiotics for infections, chemotherapeutic agents for cancers, corticosteroids for lupus, and the like. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, "The Promise and Price of Cellular Therapies," 15 July 2019

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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Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for corticosteroid

The first known use of corticosteroid was in 1944

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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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