pro·​bi·​ot·​ic | \ prō-bī-ˈä-tik How to pronounce probiotic (audio) , -bē-ˈä- \

Definition of probiotic

: a microorganism (such as lactobacillus) that when consumed (as in a food or a dietary supplement) maintains or restores beneficial bacteria to the digestive tract also : a product or preparation that contains such microorganisms — compare prebiotic

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Other Words from probiotic

probiotic adjective

Examples of probiotic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This could eventually lead to developing probiotics for wild honeybees, other animals, and even people who are at high risk of coming into contact with dangerous pesticides. Popular Science, "A healthy wasp microbiome can fend off pesticides," 5 Feb. 2020 The study says more research should be done on the use of probiotics as a treatment for the condition. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "No one believed him when he said he hadn't been drinking. Then researchers found his body was producing alcohol," 25 Oct. 2019 Research suggests that some microbial strains in topical probiotics can improve the skin’s protective mechanisms, impede inflammation, and inhibit the P. acnes bacteria that causes breakouts. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "5 Signs You're Dealing with Hormonal Acne—and How to Treat It," 2 July 2019 Nestlé's interest in probiotics Nestlé research scientists build on Metchnikoff's hypothesis for several reasons. Enea Rezzonico, Scientific American, "Nestlé's research on nutrition and the human gut microbiome," 17 Feb. 2015 Besides fecal transplants, scientists are studying other methods of manipulating our microbiome, including prebiotics, probiotics, and changes in diet or exercise that might alter the mix of microbes in the gut. Martin Oeggerli, National Geographic, "How trillions of microbes affect every stage of our life—from birth to old age," 17 Dec. 2019 Goldberg tells Holden that researchers are developing new methods for stopping viruses in wildlife including vaccines that can be administered to eggs or via probiotics. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Scientists Don’t Know Why Freshwater Mussels Are Dying Across North America," 17 Dec. 2019 Market researchers expect the global probiotics market to reach more than $77 billion by 2025. Christina Tkacik,, "Sauerkraut is a Baltimore Thanksgiving tradition, and it’s good for you, too.," 25 Nov. 2019 The researchers also put him on a no-carb diet and gave him mega-doses of probiotics to try to restore a healthy microbial community in his gut—though the researchers admit there is no evidence showing that this works. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Man kept getting drunk without drinking. Docs found brewer’s yeast in his guts," 25 Oct. 2019

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

1974, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for probiotic

pro- entry 2 + -biotic (as in antibiotic)

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Time Traveler for probiotic

Time Traveler

The first known use of probiotic was in 1974

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Statistics for probiotic

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Probiotic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for probiotic


pro·​bi·​ot·​ic | \ prō-bī-ˈät-ik, -bē- How to pronounce probiotic (audio) \

Medical Definition of probiotic

: a microorganism (such as lactobacillus or bifidobacterium) that when consumed (as in a food or a dietary supplement) maintains or restores beneficial bacteria to the digestive tract also : a product or preparation that contains such microorganisms — compare prebiotic

Other Words from probiotic

probiotic adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on probiotic

Nglish: Translation of probiotic for Spanish Speakers

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