[ steer-oid, ster- ]

  1. any of a large group of fat-soluble organic compounds, as the sterols, bile acids, and sex hormones, most of which have specific physiological action.

  1. Also ste·roi·dal [sti-roid-l, ste-]. /stɪˈrɔɪd l, stɛ-/. pertaining to or characteristic of a steroid.

Idioms about steroid

  1. on steroids, Slang. much larger, stronger, or more extreme than is normal or expected: Yosemite is nature on steroids. He's so lovable, he's like Santa Claus on steroids.

Origin of steroid

First recorded in 1925–30; ster(ol) + -oid Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use steroid in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for steroid


/ (ˈstɪərɔɪd, ˈstɛr-) /

  1. biochem any of a large group of fat-soluble organic compounds containing a characteristic chemical ring system. The majority, including the sterols, bile acids, many hormones, and the D vitamins, have important physiological action

Origin of steroid

C20: from sterol + -oid

Derived forms of steroid

  • steroidal, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for steroid


[ stĕroid′ ]

  1. Any of a large class of organic compounds having as a basis 17 carbon atoms arranged in four rings fused together. Steroids include many biologically important compounds, including cholesterol and other sterols, the sex hormones (such as testosterone and estrogen), bile acids, adrenal hormones, plant alkaloids, and certain forms of vitamins.

  2. Any of various hormones having the structure of a steroid that are made synthetically, especially for use in medicine.

  1. An anabolic steroid.

Other words from steroid

  • steroidal adjective

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for steroid


A group of molecules that includes cholesterol. The sex hormones estrogen and testosterone are built from steroids, as are many modern anti-inflammatory drugs.

Notes for steroid

Steroids are often used illegally to increase the performance of competitive athletes of almost all age groups. They are banned in many athletic competitions, such as the Olympic Games.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.