[an-ti-bahy-ot-ik, -bee-, an-tee-, -tahy-] Biochemistry, Pharmacology.
any of a large group of chemical substances, as penicillin or streptomycin, produced by various microorganisms and fungi, having the capacity in dilute solutions to inhibit the growth of or to destroy bacteria and other microorganisms, used chiefly in the treatment of infectious diseases.
of or involving antibiotics.

1855–60, for an earlier sense; anti- + biotic

antibiotically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
antibiotic (ˌæntɪbaɪˈɒtɪk)
1.  any of various chemical substances, such as penicillin, streptomycin, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline, produced by various microorganisms, esp fungi, or made synthetically and capable of destroying or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms, esp bacteria
2.  of or relating to antibiotics

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Word Origin & History

1894 (adj.), "destructive to micro-organisms," from Fr. antibiotique (c.1889), from anti- + Gk. biotikos "fit for life." As a noun, first recorded 1941, in works of physician Selman Waksman, discoverer of streptomycin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

antibiotic an·ti·bi·ot·ic (ān'tĭ-bī-ŏt'ĭk, ān'tī-)
A substance, such as penicillin or streptomycin, produced by or derived from certain fungi, bacteria, and other organisms, that can destroy or inhibit the growth of other microorganisms. adj.

  1. Of or relating to antibiotics.

  2. Of or relating to antibiosis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
antibiotic   (ān'tĭ-bī-ŏt'ĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
Noun   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.

  1. Relating to antibiotics.

  2. Relating to antibiosis.

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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
antibiotic [(an-ti-beye-ot-ik, an-teye-beye-ot-ik, an-ti-bee-ot-ik)]

A substance that destroys or inhibits the growth of microorganisms and is therefore used to treat some infections. One of the most familiar antibiotics is penicillin.

Note: Microorganisms that are initially treatable with antibiotics may evolve resistance as the more susceptible members of the population are killed off. (See resistance to antibiotics.)
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Antibiotics will not help an infection caused by a virus.
One of the persistent problems of industrial agriculture is the inappropriate
  use of antibiotics.
As a result, in hospitals across the nation, some antibiotics have become
  powerless against life-threatening infections.
They argue that farmed fish is fatty, dyed, polluting and stuffed with
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