ste·​roid ˈster-ˌȯid How to pronounce steroid (audio)
ˈstir- How to pronounce steroid (audio)
plural steroids
: 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
see also steroid hormone
steroid adjective
or steroidal
on steroids
: 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
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.

Examples of steroid in a Sentence

He was accused of taking steroids.
Recent Examples on the Web Lauryn Hill is putting a halt to her anniversary tour after suffering from the nightly use of a numbing steroid to aid her vocal cord injuries. Thania Garcia, Variety, 22 Nov. 2023 As for the volume and the muscle, Michael still belts like Tarzan on steroids. Arsenio Orteza, SPIN, 25 Oct. 2023 For Michael, the Israeli occupation of Palestine and its blockade of Gaza were an example of the architecture of insecurity on steroids. Curbed, 20 Oct. 2023 Postcard From Earth is like a National Geographic film on steroids due to the overwhelming Sphere screen, which measures the size of four football fields. Mark Gray, Rolling Stone, 7 Oct. 2023 The steroids fueling extreme weather are the heat-trapping gases from burning coal, oil and gas for energy around the world. Scott Denning, The Conversation, 13 Sep. 2023 After weathering this storm, I was hit by a new round of harrowing symptoms of withdrawal from the high doses of steroids that had previously helped keep me alive. Jim Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Oct. 2023 Cortisone is one class of steroids, and hydrocortisone is within that class. Danielle Zoellner, Verywell Health, 5 Oct. 2023 For generations, the Navy SEALs have attracted top athletes who compete for slots on elite teams and take on harrowing missions, but never in all those years did the Navy regularly test the force for illicit steroids and other drugs that could boost performance. Dave Philipps, New York Times, 29 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary sterol + -oid

First Known Use

1926, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of steroid was in 1926

Dictionary Entries Near steroid

Cite this Entry

“Steroid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ste·​roid ˈstir-ˌȯid How to pronounce steroid (audio) ˈster- How to pronounce steroid (audio)
: any of various chemical compounds that include numerous hormones (as estrogen and testosterone) compare anabolic steroid

Medical Definition


: 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
steroid adjective
or steroidal

More from Merriam-Webster on steroid

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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