mono·​clo·​nal | \ ˌmä-nə-ˈklō-nᵊl How to pronounce monoclonal (audio) \

Definition of monoclonal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: produced by, being, composed of, or caused by cells derived from a single cell … Dr. [Lawrence] Kaplan said tumors that were monoclonal, arising from a single malignant cell, indicated poor survival.— Marilyn Chase especially : relating to, being, or caused by a monoclonal antibody or monoclonal antibodies monoclonal assays — see also monoclonal gammopathy


plural monoclonals

Definition of monoclonal (Entry 2 of 2)

: monoclonal antibody But now researchers say that new ways of modifying antibodies promise to deliver monoclonals in more effective forms, with fewer side effects and at lower cost.— Lawrence M. Fisher

Examples of monoclonal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But experts hope that a monoclonal antibody could further drive down malaria infection rates. Elissa Welle, STAT, 7 Aug. 2022 Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody, bebtelovimab, provides a treatment alternative. Allysia Finley, WSJ, 1 Aug. 2022 One monoclonal antibody, bebtelovimab, is demonstrated to be effective against BA.5 as well. Erika Edwards, NBC News, 21 July 2022 His quick recovery was attributed to an experimental monoclonal antibody that was later authorized for use by the general public. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 21 July 2022 Also troublesome were initial data in the Australian study suggesting a reduction in effectiveness of Evusheld, a monoclonal antibody, against BA.5. Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2022 That redirected $10 billion included $300 million to buy more monoclonal antibody treatments -- a cache now all but exhausted by Wednesday's purchase. Sasha Pezenik, ABC News, 30 June 2022 Around $300 million will be spent on monoclonal antibody treatments. Noah Weiland,, 9 June 2022 Some neurologists say the risks of amyloid-targeting monoclonal antibody treatments, including brain swelling, outweigh potential therapeutic benefits. Dominique Mosbergen, WSJ, 22 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of monoclonal


1914, in the meaning defined above


1980, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of monoclonal was in 1914

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monoclonal antibody

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Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Monoclonal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for monoclonal


mono·​clo·​nal | \ ˌmän-ə-ˈklōn-ᵊl How to pronounce monoclonal (audio) \

Medical Definition of monoclonal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: produced by, being, or composed of cells derived from a single cell a monoclonal tumor especially : relating to or being an antibody derived from a single cell in large quantities for use against a specific antigen (as a cancer cell)



Medical Definition of monoclonal (Entry 2 of 2)

: a monoclonal antibody


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