tetracycline

noun

tet·​ra·​cy·​cline ˌte-trə-ˈsī-ˌklēn How to pronounce tetracycline (audio)
-klən
: a yellow crystalline broad-spectrum antibiotic C22H24N2O8 produced by streptomyces or synthetically
also : any of several chemically related antibiotics (such as doxycycline)

Did you know?

Most chemical names are made up of two or more Greek and Latin roots strung together. Thus, tetracycline, with its cycl- root from the Greek word for "circle", means "four-ringed"—that is, "consisting of four fused hydrocarbon rings". Antibiotics work against bacteria and other tiny organisms (but not viruses); tetracycline, which comes from a kind of soil bacteria, is one of the most used of the antibiotics. "Broad-spectrum" antibiotics work well on numerous organisms; thus, tetracycline has proved effective against acne, chlamydia, cholera, rickets, and various lung and eye infections, among many other conditions.

Examples of tetracycline in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These will be less effective if taken with tetracyclines. Megan Nunn, Verywell Health, 12 July 2024 Certain medications such as oral accutane and tetracycline, both used to treat acne, can increase a person’s sun sensitivity, increasing their risk for sunburns and rashes. Michelle Marchante, Miami Herald, 8 July 2024 Henry adds that medications such as hormonal birth control, oral antibiotics, tetracycline, spironolactone, and isotretinoin, all help control hormone levels to lessen the chance of breakouts. Audrey Noble, Vogue, 12 June 2024 After four months, the bacteria growing inside chickens on the farm that had not been fed tetracycline also harbored resistance to the drug. Melinda Wenner Moyer, Scientific American, 1 Dec. 2016 New antibiotics kept appearing on the market, pushing the prices of older stalwarts, such as penicillin and tetracycline, further down toward affordability in poor countries. Laurie Garrett, Foreign Affairs, 18 Aug. 2015 Also, individuals taking certain antibiotics (such a tetracycline) may be prone to a condition called photo-onycholysis if exposed to significant sunlight. Heather L. Brannon, Md, Verywell Health, 9 May 2024 Then the barnacles were stained with tetracycline hydrochloride, which fluoresces under UV light, to track where new shell growth occurred. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 24 Aug. 2023 Indeed, common hospital bacteria--including the staphylococci and the enterococci--have learned to laugh at a long list of once-reliable later-generation antibiotics, including methicillin, erythromycin, tetracycline, streptomycin, and the sulfa drugs. Mark Caldwell, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tetracycline.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

International Scientific Vocabulary tetracyclic having four fused hydrocarbon rings + -ine entry 2

First Known Use

1952, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tetracycline was in 1952

Dictionary Entries Near tetracycline

Cite this Entry

“Tetracycline.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tetracycline. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

tetracycline

noun
tet·​ra·​cy·​cline ˌte-trə-ˈsī-ˌklēn How to pronounce tetracycline (audio)
: a yellow crystalline antibiotic produced by a soil bacterium or made synthetically

Medical Definition

tetracycline

noun
tet·​ra·​cy·​cline ˌte-trə-ˈsī-ˌklēn How to pronounce tetracycline (audio) -klən How to pronounce tetracycline (audio)
: a yellow crystalline broad-spectrum antibiotic that is produced by a soil actinomycete of the genus Streptomyces (S. viridifaciens) or made synthetically and that is administered chiefly in the form of its hydrochloride C22H24N2O8·HCl
also : any of several chemically related antibiotics (as doxycycline)

More from Merriam-Webster on tetracycline

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!