Antibiotic Definition

ăntĭ-bī-ŏtĭk, ăntī-
Any of certain chemical substances produced by various microorganisms, specif. bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes, and having the capacity, in dilute solutions, to inhibit the growth of or to destroy bacteria and other microorganisms: the antibiotics, including penicillin, streptomycin, and tetracycline, are used in the treatment of various infectious diseases.
Webster's New World
A substance, such as penicillin or erythromycin, produced by or derived from certain microorganisms, including fungi and bacteria, that can destroy or inhibit the growth of other microorganisms, especially bacteria. Antibiotics are widely used in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
American Heritage Medicine
A substance, such as penicillin, that is capable of destroying or weakening certain microorganisms, especially bacteria or fungi, that cause infections or infectious diseases. Antibiotics are usually produced by or synthesized from other microorganisms, such as molds. They inhibit pathogens by interfering with essential intracellular processes, including the synthesis of bacterial proteins. Antibiotics do not kill viruses and are not effective in treating viral infections.
American Heritage Science

(pharmacology) Any substance that can destroy or inhibit the growth of bacteria and similar microorganisms.

Of antibiosis.
Webster's New World
Destroying bacteria and other microorganisms or inhibiting their growth.
Webster's New World
Of antibiotics.
Webster's New World
Of or relating to antibiotics.
American Heritage Medicine
Of or relating to antibiosis.
American Heritage Medicine

Other Word Forms of Antibiotic



Origin of Antibiotic

  • From French antibiotique, coined in 1889 by P. Vuillemin from anti- and biotique, from Ancient Greek βιωτικός (biōtikós, “concerning or relating to life”) (from βίος (bíos, “life”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷeih₃w- (“to live”)), perhaps influenced by ἀντίβιος (antibios, “opposed”).

    From Wiktionary

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