eryth·​ro·​my·​cin i-ˌrith-rə-ˈmī-sᵊn How to pronounce erythromycin (audio)
: a broad-spectrum antibiotic C37H67NO13 produced by an actinomycete (Saccharopolyspora erythraea synonym Streptomyces erythraeus) and administered orally or topically

Examples of erythromycin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Susan’s father, James E. Fulton, was a pioneering dermatologist who helped to develop Retin-A and topical erythromycin to treat acne and with her mother founded Vivant Skin Care in Miami. Hilarie Sheets, ELLE Decor, 15 Feb. 2023 Its genome also contains other genes needed to produce erythromycin, and a related species of clam possesses these antibiotic genes as well. Byscience News Staff,, 1 Dec. 2022 Some antibiotics, like erythromycin, bind to and shut down bacterial ribosomes, which are the factories that turn genes into proteins. Bill Sullivan, Discover Magazine, 3 Nov. 2021 But some clams make their own erythromycin, a study has found—the first animals reported to possess this ability. Byscience News Staff,, 1 Dec. 2022 Antibiotics are used to treat donovanosis, including azithromycin, doxycycline, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 26 Oct. 2021 Instead, both the artificial and natural nests were rich in Pseudonocardiaceae and Streptomycetaceae, bacterial families that produce many common antibiotics, including erythromycin. Stephenie Livingston, Science | AAAS, 15 Sep. 2020 Some examples of topical antibiotics are erythromycin and clindamycin. Kristin Koch, Seventeen, 1 Aug. 2020 The antibiotics facing export limits are tinidazole, metronidazole, chloramphenicol, erythromycin salts, neomycin, clindamycin salts and ornidazole. Vindu Goel, New York Times, 10 Mar. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'erythromycin.' 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

1952, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of erythromycin was in 1952

Dictionary Entries Near erythromycin

Cite this Entry

“Erythromycin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


eryth·​ro·​my·​cin i-ˌrith-rə-ˈmī-sᵊn How to pronounce erythromycin (audio)
: an antibiotic produced by a streptomyces

Medical Definition


eryth·​ro·​my·​cin i-ˌrith-rə-ˈmīs-ᵊn How to pronounce erythromycin (audio)
: a broad-spectrum macrolide antibiotic C37H67NO13 that is produced by an actinomycetous bacterium (Saccharopolyspora erythraea synonym Streptomyces erythraeus), resembles penicillin in antibacterial activity, and is used (as in the form of its estolate or stearate) to treat bacterial infections or sometimes infections caused by other microbes (as amoebas)

Note: Erythromycin may be administered orally, topically, or by injection.

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