prebiotic

1 of 2

adjective

pre·​bi·​ot·​ic ˌprē-bī-ˈä-tik How to pronounce prebiotic (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or being chemical or environmental precursors of the origin of life
… it is possible that either the prebiotic molecules necessary for the evolution of life or the raw materials from which these molecules formed were brought to Earth by comet-like objects.Marcia Neugebauer
also : existing or occurring before the origin of life
… RNA is a chemically fragile molecule, unlikely to survive the harsh prebiotic conditions. Michael Egholm et al.
2
: of, relating to, or being a prebiotic
… next-generation probiotic microbes administered along with the appropriate prebiotic nutrients to nourish them.Michael Pollan

prebiotic

2 of 2

noun

: a substance and especially a carbohydrate (such as inulin) that is nearly or wholly indigestible and that when consumed (as in food) promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract
Prebiotics are naturally found in certain fruits, vegetables, and herbs, including artichoke, asparagus, bananas, chicory, garlic, and onions.Andrew Weil
compare probiotic

Examples of prebiotic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The insects' exoskeletons are made from a substance called chitin, which is fiber-like and has some prebiotic properties; this can improve animals' digestive health, Liesch explained. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 22 May 2024 The lawsuit claims that Poppi cans contain an insignificant amount of prebiotic fiber and drinking enough to have any impact would necessitate an excess of sugar. Sydney Lake, Fortune, 5 June 2024
Noun
What is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics? Tracy Achonwa, Vogue, 13 June 2024 Gnarly adds digestive enzymes and both prebiotics and probiotics in an effort to improve digestion and absorption for this powder. Caroline Thomason, Health, 4 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for prebiotic 

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

pre- + biotic

First Known Use

Adjective

1954, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1995, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prebiotic was in 1954

Dictionary Entries Near prebiotic

Cite this Entry

“Prebiotic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prebiotic. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

prebiotic

1 of 2 adjective
pre·​bi·​ot·​ic
-bī-ˈät-ik
1
: of, relating to, or being chemical or environmental precursors of the origin of life
prebiotic molecules
also : existing or occurring before the origin of life
prebiotic conditions
2
: of, relating to, or being a prebiotic
Prebiotic agents included the oligosaccharides inulin, galactose, fructose, lactulose, and combinations of these nutrients.Josef Neu et al., The New England Journal of Medicine
prebiotically
-i-k(ə-)lē
adverb

prebiotic

2 of 2 noun
: a substance and especially a carbohydrate (such as inulin) that is nearly or wholly indigestible and that when consumed (as in food) promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract compare probiotic
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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