[ brawd-spek-truhm ]
See synonyms for broad-spectrum on
  1. noting an antibiotic, insecticide, or other chemical effective against a wide range of organisms.

  2. noting a sunscreen effective in absorbing or blocking ultraviolet (UVA and UVB) radiation.

  1. having a wide range of uses:The questionnaire is a broad-spectrum tool for diagnosing depression and anxiety.

Origin of broad-spectrum

First recorded in 1950–55

Words Nearby broad-spectrum Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use broad-spectrum in a sentence

  • Even the broad-spectrum drugs were losing their effectiveness to a dangerous degree within decades of their introduction.

    The Native Soil | Alan Edward Nourse
  • Both types can produce geniuses, and there is, of course, a broad spectrum in between.

    Damned If You Don't | Gordon Randall Garrett
  • These organizations involve as large a segment of the population as possible in a broad spectrum of programs and functions.

    Area Handbook for Romania | Eugene K. Keefe, Donald W. Bernier, Lyle E. Brenneman, William Giloane, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole

British Dictionary definitions for broad-spectrum


  1. (modifier) effective against a wide variety of diseases or microorganisms: a broad-spectrum antibiotic

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