follow Dictionary.com

How do you spell Hannukah?

antibiotic

[an-ti-bahy-ot-ik, -bee-, an-tee-, -tahy-] /ˌæn tɪ baɪˈɒt ɪk, -bi-, ˌæn ti-, -taɪ-/
noun
1.
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.
adjective
2.
of or involving antibiotics.
Origin
1855-1860
1855-60, for an earlier sense; anti- + biotic
Related forms
antibiotically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for antibiotics
  • 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 antibiotics.
  • The other two forms are almost invariably fatal without antibiotics.
  • Dangerous bacteria are developing resistance to existing antibiotics faster than humans can invent or discover new drugs.
  • High doses of antibiotics finally fixed him after many months, and he's still not right today.
  • Helpful bacteria in our intestines take a pounding during an antibiotics treatment, but normally recover.
  • Beta-lactam antibiotics share common chemical features.
  • Not my tax dollars, not when antibiotics seem effective.
British Dictionary definitions for antibiotics

antibiotic

/ˌæntɪbaɪˈɒtɪk/
noun
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
adjective
2.
of or relating to antibiotics
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for antibiotics

antibiotic

adj.

1894, "destructive to micro-organisms," from French antibiotique (c.1889), from anti- "against" (see anti-) + biotique "of (microbial) life," from Late Latin bioticus "of life" (see biotic). As a noun, first recorded 1941 in works of U.S. microbiologist Selman Waksman (1888-1973), discoverer of streptomycin. Earlier the adjective was used in a sense "not from living organisms" in debates over the origins of certain fossils.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
antibiotics in Medicine

antibiotic an·ti·bi·ot·ic (ān'tĭ-bī-ŏt'ĭk, ān'tī-)
n.
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.
Cite This Source
antibiotics in Science
antibiotic
  (ān'tĭ-bī-ŏt'ĭk)   
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.

Adjective  
  1. Relating to antibiotics.

  2. Relating to antibiosis.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
antibiotics in Culture
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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for antibiotic

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for antibiotics

15
18
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with antibiotics

Nearby words for antibiotics