ex·​cip·​i·​ent | \ ik-ˈsi-pē-ənt How to pronounce excipient (audio) \

Definition of excipient

: a usually inert substance (such as gum arabic or starch) that forms a vehicle (as for a drug)

Examples of excipient in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The lipid excipient surrounds and protects the active ingredient in the vaccine. Laura Cooper, WSJ, 11 Dec. 2021 Between 2015 to 2019, health-care professionals, patients, and manufacturers filed nearly 2,500 reports to the FDA about an adverse reaction to an excipient. Popular Science, 15 Sep. 2020 But their problems are a bit of a medical mystery, because Merck hasn't changed the active ingredient in Levothyrox; what's new are the excipients, ingredients that help stabilize and bulk up the drug. Yves Sciama, Science | AAAS, 27 Sep. 2017 The new version contains mannitol and citric acid—both innocuous and widely used as excipients—instead of lactose. Yves Sciama, Science | AAAS, 27 Sep. 2017

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

First Known Use of excipient

circa 1753, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for excipient

Latin excipient-, excipiens, present participle of excipere to take out, take up — more at except

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Time Traveler for excipient

Time Traveler

The first known use of excipient was circa 1753

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Dictionary Entries Near excipient

excimer laser



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Cite this Entry

“Excipient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excipient. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for excipient


ex·​cip·​i·​ent | \ ik-ˈsip-ē-ənt How to pronounce excipient (audio) \

Medical Definition of excipient

: a usually inert substance (as gum arabic, syrup, lanolin, or starch) that forms a vehicle (as for a drug or antigen) especially : one that in the presence of sufficient liquid gives a medicated mixture the adhesive quality needed for the preparation of pills or tablets


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