par·​en·​ter·​al pə-ˈren-tə-rəl How to pronounce parenteral (audio)
: situated or occurring outside the intestine
especially : introduced otherwise than by way of the intestines
parenterally adverb

Examples of parenteral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The December 2022 draft guidelines cited in the post recommend limits on aluminum exposure through parenteral nutrition based on an infant’s weight and days of life, which the post accurately reflects as 17.5 micrograms for a 1-day-old baby weighing 3.5 kilograms. Nate Trela, USA TODAY, 26 Jan. 2024 An investigation by the Texas Medical Board shows that the solution Cleveland received intravenously included total parenteral nutrition, or TPN, a potent, concentrated mix of electrolytes that doctors use to feed patients who are physically unable to consume adequate nutrition on their own. Erika Edwards, NBC News, 1 Jan. 2024 The approach is called total parenteral nutrition. Margo Pierce, Discover Magazine, 19 Mar. 2015 Wilson said that nearly every component of the total parenteral nutrition mixture that some critically ill infants and adults require has been in shortage at one time or another. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 29 Dec. 2022 These solutions of life-sustaining minerals are key to a therapy called total parenteral nutrition, in which an infant’s complete nutritional requirements are infused directly into a vein. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 29 Dec. 2022 The diarrhea also won't let up even with dietary changes, such as by going gluten-free, so many people with autoimmune enteropathy will need parenteral nutrition. Korin Miller,, 22 Nov. 2021 Sixty percent would be attributable to four childbirth interventions—parenteral administration of uterotonics, antibiotics, and anticonvulsants, and clean birth environments. Katharine Gammon, The Atlantic, 24 Dec. 2020 The company’s adjoining facility in Birmingham also offers development and manufacturing services for parenteral drug products, and application development and scale-up services for implantable medical devices. William Thornton |, al, 13 May 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'parenteral.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary para- + enteral

First Known Use

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of parenteral was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near parenteral

Cite this Entry

“Parenteral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
par·​en·​ter·​al pə-ˈrent-ə-rəl How to pronounce parenteral (audio)
: situated or occurring outside the intestine
parenteral drug administration by intravenous, intramuscular, or subcutaneous injection
especially : introduced otherwise than by way of the intestines
enteric versus parenteral feeding
parenterally adverb


2 of 2 noun
: an agent (as a drug or solution) intended for parenteral administration
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