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noun Pharmacology.
  1. an antibiotic, C21H39N7O12, produced by a soil actinomycete, Streptomyces griseus, and used in medicine in the form of its white, water-soluble sulfate salt, chiefly in the treatment of tuberculosis.

Origin of streptomycin

1944; < New Latin Streptomyc(es) streptomyces + -in2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of streptomycin

British Dictionary definitions for streptomycin


  1. an antibiotic obtained from the bacterium Streptomyces griseus: used in the treatment of tuberculosis and Gram-negative bacterial infections. Formula: C 21 H 39 N 7 O 12

Word Origin for streptomycin

from Streptomyces, genus name of bacteria (from strepto- + Greek mukēs fungus + -in)
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 streptomycin

antibiotic drug, 1944, from Modern Latin Streptomyces, genus name of the soil bacterium from which the antibiotic was obtained, from Greek streptos "twisted" + -mycin, element used in forming names of substances obtained from fungi, from Latinized form of Greek mykes "fungus" (see mucus). First isolated by U.S. microbiologist Selman Abraham Waksman (1888-1973) and others.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

streptomycin in Medicine


  1. An antibiotic obtained from Streptomyces griseus and used against the tubercle bacillus and other bacteria.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

streptomycin in Science


  1. An aminoglycoside antibiotic, C21H39O12N7, produced by the actinomycete Streptomyces griseus, given as an intramuscular injection to treat tuberculosis and other bacterial infections.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.