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[te-truh-sahy-kleen, -klin] /ˌtɛ trəˈsaɪ klin, -klɪn/
noun, Pharmacology
an antibiotic, C 22 H 24 H 2 O 8 , derived from chlortetracycline, used in medicine to treat a broad variety of infections.
Origin of tetracycline
1950-55; tetra- + cycl- + -ine2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tetracycline
  • The bones, the researchers say, contain traces of the antibiotic tetracycline.
  • After three hours of incubation, the resulting microbes were exposed to the antibiotic tetracycline.
  • Arriving at the correct orientation has a reward for each germ: immunity from the antibiotic, tetracycline.
  • First, he convinced a new doctor to prescribe him tetracycline, the preferred treatment.
  • But the terminator system is dormant until this seed is soaked in the antibiotic tetracycline.
  • If the disease is recognized and treated with tetracycline, it's easily cured.
  • The diagnosis was pneumonia, and she was treated with tetracycline.
  • Antibiotic therapy with tetracycline or another broad-spectrum antibiotic is given at the beginning of treatment.
  • Antibiotics that are commonly used include tetracycline and doxycycline.
  • Doxycycline or tetracycline are the drugs of choice for both confirmed and suspected cases.
British Dictionary definitions for tetracycline


/ˌtɛtrəˈsaɪklaɪn; -klɪn/
an antibiotic synthesized from chlortetracycline or derived from the bacterium Streptomyces viridifaciens: used in treating rickettsial infections and various bacterial infections. Formula: C22H24N2O8
Word Origin
C20: from tetra- + cycl(ic) + -ine²
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 tetracycline

1952, with chemical suffix -ine (2) + tetracyclic "containing four fused hydrocarbon rings," from tetra- + cyclic (see cycle (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tetracycline in Medicine

tetracycline tet·ra·cy·cline (tět'rə-sī'klēn', -klĭn)

  1. A yellow crystalline compound synthesized or derived from certain microorganisms of the genus Streptomyces and used as a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

  2. An antibiotic, such as chlortetracycline and oxytetracycline, having the same basic structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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tetracycline in Science
  (tět'rə-sī'klēn', -klĭn)   
A yellow crystalline compound, C22H24N2O8, synthesized or derived from several bacterial species of the genus Streptomyces and used as an antibiotic in bacterial infections. Other drugs of the tetracycline class have a similar chemical structure.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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