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[fahr-muh-soo-ti-kuh l] /ˌfɑr məˈsu tɪ kəl/
pertaining to pharmacy or pharmacists.
a pharmaceutical preparation or product.
Also, pharmaceutic.
1640-50; pharmaceutic(s) + -al1
Related forms
pharmaceutically, adverb
nonpharmaceutic, adjective
nonpharmaceutical, adjective
nonpharmaceutically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pharmaceuticals
  • Besides generating pharmaceuticals, transgenic animals can also provide research models of currently incurable human diseases.
  • Oil is used in the production of pharmaceuticals, plastics and electronics.
  • The precise mechanism of effect remains elusive even for the intensively studied mainstream pharmaceuticals.
  • The benefits of new technologies-from genetically engineered food to the wonders of pharmaceuticals-often have been oversold.
  • There are a few industries, such as pharmaceuticals, where this may be necessary.
  • There is no question that the modern era has been a heroic period for the invention and ingestion of pharmaceuticals.
  • Even now, new uses for existing pharmaceuticals or unexpected effects of dietary changes are sometimes serendipitously noticed.
  • One wonders what effects modern pharmaceuticals might have had on the luminous work of writers with physical and mental illnesses.
  • He works for a small money-management fund, now as a generalist instead of a specialist in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
  • Includes case studies of trade in textiles, pharmaceuticals, and financial services.
British Dictionary definitions for pharmaceuticals


of or relating to drugs or pharmacy
Derived Forms
pharmaceutically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin pharmaceuticus, from Greek pharmakeus purveyor of drugs; see pharmacy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pharmaceuticals



1640s (pharmaceutic in the same sense is from 1540s), from Late Latin pharmaceuticus "of drugs," from Greek pharmakeutikos, from pharmakeus "preparer of drugs, poisoner" (see pharmacy). Related: Pharmaceuticals; pharmaceutically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pharmaceuticals in Medicine

pharmaceutical phar·ma·ceu·ti·cal (fär'mə-sōō'tĭ-kəl) or phar·ma·ceu·tic (-tĭk)
Of or relating to pharmacy or pharmacists. n.
A pharmaceutical product or preparation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for pharmaceuticals


substance used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease and for restoring, correcting, or modifying organic functions. (See also pharmaceutical industry.)

Learn more about pharmaceutical with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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