diethylstilbestrol

noun

di·​eth·​yl·​stil·​bes·​trol (ˌ)dī-ˈe-thəl-stil-ˈbe-ˌstrȯl How to pronounce diethylstilbestrol (audio)
-ˌtrōl
: a synthetic estrogen drug C18H20O2 used formerly to prevent miscarriage or premature delivery in humans and to promote growth in livestock

called also DES, stilbestrol

Note: The medical use of diethystilbestrol was discontinued in the U.S. during the early 1970s due to its association with serious side effects (such as reproductive tract abnormalities and increased rates of infertility) in offspring exposed to the drug while developing in the uterus. Diethylstilbestrol is no longer commercially available in the U.S. and its use is currently limited to specially compounded formulations for veterinary care.

Examples of diethylstilbestrol in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Epidemiologists were learning, for instance, that exposure to certain estrogen-like chemicals, such as diethylstilbestrol (DES), increases the risk of vaginal, cervical, and breast cancer. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, 11 Dec. 2023 Cohn said in an interview that her group decided to investigate the long-term effects of Makena because of its similarity to another synthetic hormone called diethylstilbestrol, or DES. Los Angeles Times, 17 Feb. 2022 Women who took the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES): The drug was given to some pregnant women between 1940 and 1971 to prevent miscarriage. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, 4 Nov. 2019 The drug, a synthetic estrogen known as diethylstilbestrol (DES), was designed to prevent pregnancy complications like miscarriage and preterm delivery. Fox News, 23 May 2018

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

Word History

Etymology

International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1938, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of diethylstilbestrol was in 1938

Dictionary Entries Near diethylstilbestrol

Cite this Entry

“Diethylstilbestrol.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diethylstilbestrol. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

diethylstilbestrol

noun
di·​eth·​yl·​stil·​bes·​trol -stil-ˈbes-ˌtrȯl How to pronounce diethylstilbestrol (audio) -ˌtrōl How to pronounce diethylstilbestrol (audio)
variants or chiefly British diethylstilboestrol
: a synthetic estrogen drug C18H20O2 used formerly to prevent miscarriage or premature delivery in humans and to promote growth in livestock

called also DES, stilbestrol

Note: The medical use of diethystilbestrol was discontinued in the U.S. during the early 1970s due to its association with serious side effects (such as reproductive tract abnormalities and increased rates of infertility) in offspring exposed to the drug while developing in the uterus. Additional side effects of exposure include increased risk of adenocarcinoma of the vagina and cervix and pregnancy complications in female offspring and prostate and testicular cancer in male offspring. Diethylstilbestrol is no longer commercially available in the U.S. and its use is currently limited to specially compounded formulations for veterinary care.

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