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.

Other Words from steroid

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

Examples of steroid in a Sentence

He was accused of taking steroids.
Recent Examples on the Web Doctors will often prescribe a steroid rinse for the sinuses to decrease inflammation and aid training. Evan Bush, NBC News, 27 July 2022 One vexing problem with other vitiligo treatments, which include anti-inflammatory and steroid medications and ultra violet light sessions, is that when halted, up to 40 percent of patients relapse within the first year. Globe Staff,, 19 July 2022 The work of Tobiansky and his colleagues suggests that steroid hormones such as androgens and estrogens may have protective effects on the birds’ brain. Viviane Callier, Scientific American, 14 July 2022 As an adult in her third trimester of pregnancy, Jayne started to use the topical steroid Elocon on her hands and hydrocortisone on her face. Tamim Alnuweiri, Allure, 10 May 2022 Betamethasone, the steroid that can help horses’ joints, which 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for and prompted Bob Baffert’s suspension by Churchill Downs, is considered a therapeutic drug. Stephen Whyno, Baltimore Sun, 9 June 2022 The mice who received the anti-inflammatory and the steroid experienced stronger pain relief. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 23 May 2022 Baffert and his representatives have argued that the steroid in Medina Spirit came from the topical ointment Otomax, rather than an injection that is banned. CBS News, 1 Mar. 2022 Steroids always make blood sugar go up, but the effect differs among people and by the dose of steroid. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 28 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of steroid was in 1926

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Statistics for steroid

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Steroid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for steroid


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 steroid (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on steroid

Nglish: Translation of steroid for Spanish Speakers

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


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