diethylstilbestrol

noun
di·​eth·​yl·​stil·​bes·​trol | \-stil-ˈbes-ˌtrȯl, -ˌtrōl\

Definition of diethylstilbestrol 

: 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

The drug, a synthetic estrogen known as diethylstilbestrol (DES), was designed to prevent pregnancy complications like miscarriage and preterm delivery. Fox News, "Banned pregnancy drug tied to ADHD generations later," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diethylstilbestrol.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of diethylstilbestrol

1938, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for diethylstilbestrol

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The first known use of diethylstilbestrol was in 1938

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diethylstilbestrol

noun
di·​eth·​yl·​stil·​bes·​trol | \-stil-ˈbes-ˌtrȯl, -ˌtrōl \
variants: or chiefly British diethylstilboestrol \-​ˈbēs-​ \

Medical Definition of diethylstilbestrol 

: 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on diethylstilbestrol

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diethylstilbestrol

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