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international unit

noun, Pharmacology
1.
an internationally agreed upon standard, as measured by bioassay, to which samples of a substance, as a drug or hormone, are compared to ascertain their relative potency.
2.
the particular quantity of such a substance, which causes a specific biological effect.
Abbreviation: IU.
Origin
1920-1925
1920-25
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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international-unit in Medicine

international unit n.
Abbr. IU

  1. The quantity of a biologically active substance, such as a hormone or vitamin, required to produce a specific response.

  2. A unit of potency for similarly active substances, based on this quantity and accepted as an international standard.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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international-unit in Science
international unit  
A unit for measuring a biologically active substance, such as a hormone or vitamin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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