|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|
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.
Of or relating to antibiotics.
Of or relating to antibiosis.
|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.
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.)