strep·​to·​my·​cin | \ ˌstrep-tə-ˈmī-sᵊn How to pronounce streptomycin (audio) \

Definition of streptomycin

: an antibiotic organic base C21H39N7O12 that is produced by a soil actinomycete (Streptomyces griseus), is active against many bacteria, and is used especially in the treatment of infections (such as tuberculosis) by gram-negative bacteria

Examples of streptomycin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most of our antibiotic medicines were discovered in such bacteria; streptomycin, for example, unsurprisingly hails from Streptomyces. Jennifer Frazer, Scientific American, "If It Smells like Dirt, Fire Ants Are Interested," 21 Nov. 2020 The standard treatment for brucellosis is antibiotics—usually a combination of doxycycline and streptomycin taken over a period of about six weeks, says NORD. Claire Gillespie,, "A Brucellosis Outbreak in China Has Been Linked to a Factory Leak—Here's What You Need to Know," 18 Sep. 2020 While Myobacterium tuberculosis would be discovered in 1882 and the clinical benefit of antibiotic streptomycin in 1945, public health efforts were ultimately the key to ending tuberculosis. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Tuberculosis is more dangerous than COVID-19 but context matters," 10 May 2019 Will Burtin in 1951 to summarize the effectiveness of three antibiotics—penicillin, neomycin, and streptomycin—in treating 13 bacteria. Andrew Gelman, Wired, "Is Your Chart a Detective Story? Or a Police Report?," 25 Aug. 2020 Common antibiotics, such as streptomycin, can prevent complications or in some cases death, if administered soon after symptoms present themselves. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "California has its first case of plague in 5 years. How likely are you to catch it?," 20 Aug. 2020 However, a strain of bubonic plague with high-level resistance to streptomycin was seen recently in Madagascar. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Why is the plague still a thing in 2020? And are you at risk of getting it?," 19 Aug. 2020 There was no effective way to treat tuberculosis until the development of streptomycin in the 1940s, so prevention and perseverance during Thayer’s time – as with COVID-19 – often involved good hygiene and healthy living. Elizabeth Lee, The Conversation, "One 19th-century artist’s effort to grapple with tuberculosis resonates during COVID-19," 31 July 2020 The sacrifice made by the 52 people in the control group meant that there was no doubt the streptomycin worked _ and that a situation like gold treatment, where many patients get a therapy that harms, instead of helping, wouldn’t repeat itself. Matthew Herper, STAT, "Why President Trump is at odds with his medical experts over using malaria drugs against Covid-19," 22 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'streptomycin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of streptomycin

1944, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about streptomycin

Time Traveler for streptomycin

Time Traveler

The first known use of streptomycin was in 1944

See more words from the same year

Statistics for streptomycin

Cite this Entry

“Streptomycin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for streptomycin


strep·​to·​my·​cin | \ -ˈmīs-ᵊn How to pronounce streptomycin (audio) \

Medical Definition of streptomycin

: an antibiotic organic base C21H39N7O12 that is produced by a soil actinomycete of the genus Streptomyces (S. griseus), is active against bacteria, and is used especially in the treatment of infections (as tuberculosis) by gram-negative bacteria

More from Merriam-Webster on streptomycin Encyclopedia article about streptomycin

Comments on streptomycin

What made you want to look up streptomycin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!