pac·​li·​tax·​el | \ ˌpa-kli-ˈtak-sᵊl How to pronounce paclitaxel (audio) \

Definition of paclitaxel

: an antineoplastic drug C47H51NO14 originally derived from the bark of the Pacific yew but now typically derived as a semisynthetic product of the English yew and used to treat ovarian cancer

Examples of paclitaxel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The introduction of taxanes like paclitaxel and docetaxel marked a significant advance in treatment. Richard Ghalie, STAT, 26 Dec. 2019 Researchers randomly assigned 1,274 people with advanced disease to receive one of two kinds of chemotherapy — either paclitaxel (marketed as Taxol) plus carboplatin or pemetrexed (marketed as Alimta) plus carboplatin — or Keytruda. Melissa Healy,, 5 June 2018 Doctors debate whether any advantages of Abraxane merit the extra cost compared with generic paclitaxel. Andrew Pollack, New York Times, 23 May 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paclitaxel.' 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 paclitaxel

1992, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for paclitaxel

Pacific yew + -litax- (perhaps from Taxus brevifolia) + -el (alteration of -ol entry 1 or -ol entry 3)

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The first known use of paclitaxel was in 1992

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Cite this Entry

“Paclitaxel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for paclitaxel


pac·​li·​tax·​el | \ ˌpak-li-ˈtak-səl How to pronounce paclitaxel (audio) \

Medical Definition of paclitaxel

: an antineoplastic agent C47H51NO14 that was originally derived from the bark of a yew tree (Taxus brevifolia of the family Taxaceae) of the western United States and British Columbia but that is now typically derived as a semisynthetic product of the English yew (T. baccata) and is used to treat ovarian cancer which has not responded to conventional chemotherapy — see taxol


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