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 Our ongoing series outlines rapid progress in progress in anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies and nanobodies. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 4 June 2021 This finding opens up the possibility of using monoclonal antibodies in people who cannot get vaccinated or who get no protection from the vaccines, because of immunity issues. Steven Vargas, USA TODAY, 4 June 2021 While individual monoclonal antibodies have been used to treat cancer, the creation of cocktails involving two or more would be new to the field. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3 June 2021 And a few are jumping through bureaucratic hoops to get access to monoclonal antibodies, which could provide protection until more people in the general population are vaccinated. Joe Barrett, WSJ, 2 June 2021 Tucker has to wait 90 days to get her vaccination because she was treated with monoclonal antibodies before she was hospitalized. Meredith Cohn,, 26 May 2021 Lifesaving therapies such as monoclonal antibodies are unavailable in large parts of the world. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, 26 May 2021 This search has already begun and one approach of note is monoclonal antibodies. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 19 May 2021 Today there are several monoclonal antibodies that have been studied and for which the FDA has given EUA. Carlos Del Rio, Scientific American, 18 May 2021

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.

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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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Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monoclonal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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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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