sul·​fo·​nyl·​urea ˌsəl-fə-ˌnil-ˈyu̇r-ē-ə How to pronounce sulfonylurea (audio)
: any of several hypoglycemic compounds related to the sulfonamides and used in the oral treatment of diabetes

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Patients typically take insulin, metformin, sulfonylureas or newer, more expensive medications, including SGLT2 inhibitors, to control their blood sugar. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, 12 Mar. 2018

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

Word History


New Latin, from International Scientific Vocabulary sulfonyl + New Latin urea

First Known Use

1956, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sulfonylurea was in 1956

Dictionary Entries Near sulfonylurea

Cite this Entry

“Sulfonylurea.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition


variants or chiefly British sulphonylurea
: any of several hypoglycemic compounds (as glipizide and tolbutamide) related to the sulfonamides and used in the oral treatment of type 2 diabetes

More from Merriam-Webster on sulfonylurea

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?