[ steer-oid, ster- ]
/ ˈstɪər ɔɪd, ˈstɛr- /


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.


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


    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. 2019

Examples from the Web for steroids

British Dictionary definitions for steroids


/ (ˈstɪərɔɪd, ˈstɛr-) /


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
Derived Formssteroidal, adjective

Word Origin for steroid

C20: from sterol + -oid
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

Word Origin and History for steroids



naturally occuring substance based on the carbon skeleton of sterol molecules, 1936, from sterol (1913; abstracted from cholesterol) + -oid. Related: Steroids.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for steroids


[ stĕroid′, stîr- ]


Any of numerous naturally occurring or synthetic fat-soluble organic compounds having as a basis 17 carbon atoms arranged in four rings and including the sterols and bile acids, adrenocortical and sex hormones, certain natural drugs such as digitalis compounds, and the precursors of certain vitamins.steroid hormone


Relating to or characteristic of steroids or steroid hormones.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for steroids


[ stĕroid′ ]

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.
Any of various hormones having the structure of a steroid that are made synthetically, especially for use in medicine.
An anabolic steroid.
Related formssteroidal adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for steroids


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


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.