sub·​ther·​a·​peu·​tic ˌsəb-ˌther-ə-ˈpyü-tik How to pronounce subtherapeutic (audio)
variants or sub-therapeutic
: less than therapeutic : having, using, or being a dose that is below what is used for treating disease or producing an optimal therapeutic effect
… with a fixed dose of 95 mg/kg/day, initial levels during the febrile phase were subtherapeutic (<20 mg/dL)…Gideon Koren et al.
Farm animals are the target of nearly half the antibiotics produced in the United States, mostly in the form of low or subtherapeutic doses aimed at preventing disease or promoting growth.Karen Wright

Word History

First Known Use

1910, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of subtherapeutic was in 1910

Dictionary Entries Near subtherapeutic

Cite this Entry

“Subtherapeutic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


sub·​ther·​a·​peu·​tic -ˌther-ə-ˈpyüt-ik How to pronounce subtherapeutic (audio)
: not producing a therapeutic effect
subtherapeutic doses of penicillin
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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