ste·​roid | \ ˈster-ˌȯid How to pronounce steroid (audio) also ˈstir- How to pronounce steroid (audio) \
plural steroids

Definition of steroid

: any of various compounds containing a 17-carbon 4-ring system and including the sterols and numerous hormones (such as anabolic steroids or corticosteroids) and glycosides Fifty steroids have been shown to be present in the adrenal cortex. Only seven of these, however, have been shown to exert a significant biological effect related to adrenal cortical function.— John E. Hoover often, specifically : anabolic steroid an athlete taking/using steroids a steroid user Their … reporting triggered a national wake-up call about steroid use that led to congressional hearings, and, at long last, steroid testing in baseball. — Rick Reilly
on steroids
1 : taking anabolic steroids an athlete accused of being on steroids The term [road rage] was presumably based on "roid rage," referring to sudden violent activity by people on steroids.— Michael Fumento
2 informal : greatly increased in size or power beyond what is normal or usual With one giant claw and one smaller one, the creature looks like a fiddler crab on steroids.— Don Wilson … the inflation of a military budget that already looks as though it's on steroids.— Donald Kaul Only technology could cook it in record time. A microwave oven on steroids, that cooks eight times faster than other conventional ovens.— James Hattori et al.

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Other Words from steroid

steroid or steroidal \ stə-​ˈrȯi-​dᵊl How to pronounce steroidal (audio) \ adjective

Examples of steroid in a Sentence

He was accused of taking steroids.
Recent Examples on the Web Safe as dexamethasone is, the Recovery study still administered it for 10 days, longer than a typical steroid course. Adam Rogers, Wired, "Dexamethasone and the Recovery Trial’s High-Speed Science," 24 June 2020 Dexamethasone, a common steroid used to treat inflammation, was found to cut deaths by up to one-third in a study of more than 6,000 severely ill patients, according to a team of researchers in England. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "When he tested positive for coronavirus, he prepared for 2 weeks of misery. Months later, he was still sick.," 21 June 2020 It’s a steroid, which represents a huge class of drugs. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Dexamethasone’s supply chain is the most exciting thing about it," 18 June 2020 The steroid suppresses their activity by shutting them down close to their source in white blood cells. Los Angeles Times, "How dexamethasone might lead researchers to better COVID-19 treatments," 17 June 2020 British researchers found the steroid cut deaths of patients on ventilators by a third, and deaths of those on oxygen by a fifth. David Meyer, Fortune, "Decades of Jeff Bezos’s thoughts are collated in a new book," 17 June 2020 The widely available steroid drug dexamethasone may be key in helping to treat the sickest Covid-19 patients who require ventilation or oxygen, according to researchers in the United Kingdom. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, June 17," 17 June 2020 Studies of steroid treatment for SARS and MERS infections found little or no benefit. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "Common Steroid Could Be Cheap and Effective Treatment for Severe COVID-19," 17 June 2020 Bay Area infectious disease experts said the low-cost steroid is often used in intensive care units for other ailments to control inflammation. Peter Fimrite,, "For the first time, a drug is found to reduce coronavirus death rate," 16 June 2020

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

1926, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for steroid

International Scientific Vocabulary sterol + -oid

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Time Traveler for steroid

Time Traveler

The first known use of steroid was in 1926

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Statistics for steroid

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Steroid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for steroid


How to pronounce steroid (audio) How to pronounce steroid (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of steroid

: a natural substance that is produced in the body


ste·​roid | \ ˈstir-ˌȯid How to pronounce steroid (audio) , ˈster- \

Kids Definition of steroid

: any of various chemical compounds that include many hormones (as anabolic steroids)


ste·​roid | \ ˈsti(ə)r-ˌȯid also ˈste(ə)r- \

Medical Definition of steroid

: any of numerous natural or synthetic compounds containing a 17-carbon 4-ring system and including the sterols and various hormones and glycosides — see anabolic steroid

Other Words from steroid

steroid or steroidal \ stə-​ˈrȯid-​ᵊl How to pronounce steroidal (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on steroid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with steroid

Spanish Central: Translation of steroid

Nglish: Translation of steroid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of steroid for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about steroid

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