[ an-tee-mahy-kroh-bee-uhl, an-tahy‐ ]

  1. destructive to or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi: an antimicrobial spray to stop the spread of athlete’s foot in the locker room; antimicrobial ointments that suppress the cold sore virus.

  1. an antimicrobial product. Antimicrobials are generally regulated into two categories—those used on inanimate objects, as wipes for kitchen counters, and those used in or on living things, as antibiotics or hand sanitizers: Any product that kills bacteria or viruses is an antimicrobial, but that doesn’t mean any antimicrobial will kill both bacteria and viruses.

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Origin of antimicrobial

First recorded in 1900–05; anti- + microbial

Words Nearby antimicrobial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use antimicrobial in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for antimicrobial


/ (ˌæntɪmaɪˈkrəʊbɪəl) /

  1. capable of destroying or inhibiting the growth of disease-causing microbes

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