[ te-truh-sahy-kleen, -klin ]
/ ˌtɛ trəˈsaɪ klin, -klɪn /

noun Pharmacology.

an antibiotic, C22H24H2O8, derived from chlortetracycline, used in medicine to treat a broad variety of infections.

Origin of tetracycline

First recorded in 1950–55; tetra- + cycl- + -ine2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tetracycline

  • I didn't spot it until I found them wolfing down the tetracycline capsules in my samples case.

    The Native Soil|Alan Edward Nourse

British Dictionary definitions for tetracycline


/ (ˌtɛtrəˈsaɪklaɪn, -klɪn) /


an antibiotic synthesized from chlortetracycline or derived from the bacterium Streptomyces viridifaciens: used in treating rickettsial infections and various bacterial infections. Formula: C 22 H 24 N 2 O 8

Word Origin for tetracycline

C20: from tetra- + cycl (ic) + -ine ²
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

Medicine definitions for tetracycline


[ tĕt′rə-sīklēn′, -klĭn ]


A yellow crystalline compound synthesized or derived from certain actinomycetes of the genus Streptomyces and used as a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
An antibiotic, such as oxytetracycline, having the same basic structure.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for tetracycline


[ tĕt′rə-sīklēn′, -klĭn ]

A yellow crystalline compound, C22H24N2O8, synthesized or derived from several bacterial species of the genus Streptomyces and used as an antibiotic in bacterial infections. Other drugs of the tetracycline class have a similar chemical structure.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.