tes·​tos·​ter·​one te-ˈstä-stə-ˌrōn How to pronounce testosterone (audio)
: a hormone that is a hydroxy steroid ketone C19H28O2 produced especially by the testes or made synthetically and that is responsible for inducing and maintaining male secondary sex characters
: qualities (such as brawn and aggressiveness) usually associated with males : manliness

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The muscular Thomas — who now pitches a testosterone supplement in TV ads — has spoken for years about the scourge of steroids. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, 28 Nov. 2022 Cysts in the brain somehow increase dopamine and testosterone, boosting boldness and risk-taking and increasing the chance the host will be eaten by cats. Byerik Stokstad, science.org, 24 Nov. 2022 Another tip Siksik suggests is looking for products that contain 1 to 2 percent ketoconazole, a drug that stops testosterone from converting to DHT. Meg Donohue, ELLE, 16 Nov. 2022 Add steroids and testosterone-boosting drugs or supplements to that list, too, Cheskin says. Melissa Matthews, Men's Health, 16 Nov. 2022 There has also been concern that the isoflavones in soy can affect men’s hormonal levels, lowering testosterone and raising estrogen levels. Marygrace Taylor, Good Housekeeping, 14 Nov. 2022 There are 62 drugs in these programs, including some medications to treat cancer or MS, antipsychotics, opioids and testosterone. Jen Christensen, CNN, 1 Nov. 2022 There’s secrets, learned experience, to succeeding as a female official in a game defined by testosterone. Luca Evans, Los Angeles Times, 29 Oct. 2022 Supplementary testosterone makes male Mongolian gerbils more cuddly with their pregnant mates. Sophie Lewis, Harper’s Magazine , 26 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from German Testosteron, from Latin testēs testes + German -o- -o-- + -steron -sterone

Note: The name was introduced by the Hungarian pharmacologists Karoly Gyula David (1905-45) and János Freud (1901-48), the Dutch endocrinologist Elisabeth Dingemanse (1886-1952), and the German-born Dutch physician and pharmacologist Ernst Laqueur (1880-1947) (all affiliated with the Pharmaco-Therapeutic Laboratory of the University of Amsterdam) in "Über krystallinisches männliches Hormon aus Hoden (Testosteron), wirksamer als aus Harn oder aus Cholesterin bereitetes Androsteron," Zeitschrift für physiologische Chemie, Band 233 (1935), pp. 281-83

First Known Use

1935, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of testosterone was in 1935

Dictionary Entries Near testosterone

Cite this Entry

“Testosterone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/testosterone. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



tes·​tos·​ter·​one te-ˈstäs-tə-ˌrōn How to pronounce testosterone (audio)
: a male hormone produced by the testes that causes the development of the male reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics

Medical Definition



tes·​tos·​ter·​one te-ˈstäs-tə-ˌrōn How to pronounce testosterone (audio)
: a male hormone that is a crystalline hydroxy steroid ketone C19H28O2 produced primarily by the testes or made synthetically and that is the main androgen responsible for inducing and maintaining male secondary sex characteristics see androgel, axiron

More from Merriam-Webster on testosterone

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.