phar·​ma·​col·​o·​gy | \ˌfär-mə-ˈkä-lə-jē \

Definition of pharmacology 

1 : the science of drugs including their origin, composition, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic use, and toxicology

2 : the properties and reactions of drugs especially with relation to their therapeutic value

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Other Words from pharmacology

pharmacological \ˌfär-​mə-​kə-​ˈlä-​ji-​kəl \ or less commonly pharmacologic \ˌfär-​mə-​kə-​ˈlä-​jik \ adjective
pharmacologically \ˌfär-​mə-​kə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb
pharmacologist \ˌfär-​mə-​ˈkä-​lə-​jist \ noun

Examples of pharmacology in a Sentence

We don't have a complete understanding of the new drug's pharmacology yet.

Recent Examples on the Web

While there are some medications that can treat manic, hypomanic, and depressive episodes, others will only treat certain phases, Jamie Alan, Ph.D., an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University, tells SELF. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Bipolar Disorder Treatments You Should Know About," 30 Nov. 2018 David Hosack’s garden may have been short-lived, but in our parks, gardens, medical practices and pharmacology, his efforts continue to bear fruit. Marta Mcdowell, New York Times, "Deep Below Rockefeller Center Lies a Legendary Botanical Garden," 25 June 2018 Honored: The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, president-elect Backes is a professor of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics and associate dean for research at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine., "33 Greater New Orleans business people on the move," 23 Apr. 2018 In the mid-1950s, the University of Lund in Sweden rejected Arvid Carlsson’s application for promotion from his research job to associate professor of pharmacology. WSJ, "Arvid Carlsson, Snubbed at University in Sweden, Found a Path to Nobel Prize in Medicine," 13 July 2018 JoAnn Trejo is the university’s associate dean for health sciences faculty affairs and a professor of pharmacology. Bradley J. Fikes,, "San Diego science reaches top tier in new global survey," 7 June 2018 His father, a pediatric oncologist, is the executive director of the Duke Cancer Institute, and is a professor of pharmacology and cancer biology at Duke’s medical school. New York Times, "Amanda Conklin, Benjamin Kastan," 27 May 2018 But Alaska State Medical Association President Peter Lawrason questioned whether naturopathic training — specifically in pharmacology — was enough to curb concerns of public safety. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Should Alaska’s naturopaths be allowed to prescribe medicine?," 21 Apr. 2018 The old pillars of medical school — pathology, anatomy, histology and pharmacology — are now woven into courses organized by organ system. Gary Robbins,, "Timeline: The illustrated history of the UC San Diego School of Medicine," 18 Mar. 2018

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

1704, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for pharmacology

Last Updated

15 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for pharmacology

The first known use of pharmacology was in 1704

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English Language Learners Definition of pharmacology

: the scientific study of drugs and how they are used in medicine

: a drug's qualities and effects


phar·​ma·​col·​o·​gy | \ˌfär-mə-ˈkäl-ə-jē \
plural pharmacologies

Medical Definition of pharmacology 

1 : the science of drugs including their origin, composition, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic use, and toxicology

2 : the properties and reactions of drugs especially with relation to their therapeutic value

Other Words from pharmacology

pharmacological \-​kə-​ˈläj-​i-​kəl \ also pharmacologic \-​ik \ adjective
pharmacologically \-​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

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