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 The other drug, dexamethasone, a steroid, has been shown in early research to be lifesaving for the most seriously ill COVID-19 patients. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, "Remdesivir and COVID-19: New data suggests the experimental drug can shorten how long people are sick," 11 July 2020 One such drug that gained recent global attention is dexamethasone, a commonly available and cheap steroid. Mallory Moench,, "Bay Area doctors explain the COVID-19 treatments they’re using now," 3 July 2020 Another drug, the widely available steroid dexamethasone, is useful for providing supportive care to the sickest Covid-19 patients who require ventilation or oxygen, according to preliminary research from the UK. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Thursday, July 2," 2 July 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has been brutal, but now, preliminary research is showing promising results from an inexpensive steroid treatment. Molly Longman,, "What Is Dexamethasone & Will It Help Coronavirus Patients?," 29 June 2020 Dexamethasone, a low-dose steroid treatment, reduces the risk of death by one-third for COVID-19 patients on ventilators. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "Pence says second-wave fears are overblown as hospitalizations rise in some states," 17 June 2020 Doctors there administered plasma treatments, the antiviral drug remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone – a common treatment course for COVID patients. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "'Pushing the boundaries': Long lines for COVID tests, stressed labs delay results as demand spikes," 12 July 2020 But recent news that a cheap steroid called dexamethasone improves survival means remdesivir should be priced between $2,520 and $2,800. CBS News, "Gilead's remdesivir will cost $3,120 for patients with private insurance," 29 June 2020 An inexpensive and widely available steroid is an effective treatment for COVID-19 patients, researchers have found. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "Pence says second-wave fears are overblown as hospitalizations rise in some states," 17 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

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Steroid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 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

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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