thalidomide

[ thuh-lid-uh-mahyd ]
/ θəˈlɪd əˌmaɪd /

noun

a crystalline, slightly water-soluble solid, C13H10N2O4, formerly used as a sedative: if taken during pregnancy, it may cause severe abnormalities in the limbs of the fetus.

Origin of thalidomide

1955–60; (ph)thal(im)ido(glutari)mide, equivalent to phthalimide (phthal(ic) + imide) + -o- + glutarimide (glut(en) + (tart)ar(ic) + imide)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for thalidomide

thalidomide

/ (θəˈlɪdəˌmaɪd) /

noun

  1. a synthetic drug formerly used as a sedative and hypnotic but withdrawn from the market when found to cause abnormalities in developing fetuses. Formula: C 13 H 10 N 2 O 4
  2. (as modifier)a thalidomide baby

Word Origin for thalidomide

C20: from thallic + -id- (from imide) + imide
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 thalidomide

thalidomide

[ thə-lĭdə-mīd′ ]

n.

A sedative and hypnotic drug that was withdrawn from sale after it was found to cause severe birth defects when taken during pregnancy.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for thalidomide

thalidomide

[ thə-lĭdə-mīd′ ]

A drug used to treat leprosy. It was previously prescribed to treat nausea during early pregnancy, but was found to cause severe birth defects, including stunting or absence of the limbs. Chemical formula: C13H10N2O4.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for thalidomide

thalidomide

[ (thuh-lid-uh-meyed) ]

A sedative drug that was developed and used in Europe in the 1960s. Thalidomide was taken off the market when it became evident that it caused severe birth defects in babies born to women who had used the drug during pregnancy.

Note

References to thalidomide are often made when illustrating the dangers of using drugs whose side effects are not well known.
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.