Definition of penicillin in English:

penicillin

noun

mass noun
  • 1An antibiotic or group of antibiotics produced naturally by certain blue moulds, now usually prepared synthetically. Penicillin was discovered in 1928 and during the Second World War became the first antibiotic to be used by doctors.

    ‘patients who are allergic to penicillin’
    count noun ‘penicillins and cephalosporins’
    • ‘Overuse of antibiotics has been shown to drive the evolution of mutant strains of bacteria immune to a broad spectrum of drugs, including penicillins, cephalosporins, and quinolones.’
    • ‘While the incidence of true cross-reactivity between penicillins and cephalosporins is low, the possible reactions include anaphylaxis, which can be fatal.’
    • ‘The aminopenicillins were the first penicillins discovered to be active against gram-negative rods such as E. coli and H. influenzae.’
    • ‘All the usual range of antibiotics, penicillins and cephalosporins are pretty much useless against these things.’
    • ‘The lactams are a family of antimicrobial agents consisting of four major groups: penicillins, cephalosporins, monobactams, and carbapenems.’
    • ‘The surprising finding was that people who had reacted to sulphonamides were more likely to react to penicillins than to sulphonamide non-antibiotics.’
    • ‘Studies from the late 1960s and the 1970s revealed that streptococcal eradication was equal with intramuscularly and orally administered penicillins.’
    • ‘Exanthematous eruptions most commonly occur in association with the administration of penicillins or cephalosporins.’
    • ‘Many were originally sensitive to antibiotics such as penicillins, but overuse of these drugs has resulted in many multi-resistant bacteria.’
    • ‘Oral antibiotics are usually used in the treatment and include first-generation cephalosporins, penicillinase-resistant penicillins, macrolides, and fluoroquinolones.’
    • ‘Within these two therapeutic drug classes, penicillins were identified 22 times, cephalosporins 21 times, and opioids 20 times.’
    • ‘Enterococci are inherently resistant to cephalosporins, semi-synthetic penicillins, and clindamycin.’
    • ‘In general, cephalosporins and penicillins are not very effective in treating acne.’
    • ‘For the patient who is allergic to penicillins, the use of trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole is indicated.’
    • ‘It is well established that far less expensive antibiotics, including the penicillins and tetracyclines, are highly effective against Anthrax.’
    • ‘Major classes of antibiotics include tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, penicillins, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, streptogramins, sulfonamides, and erythromycins.’
    • ‘The antibiotics used were mainly cephalosporins, penicillins, fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides, tetracyclines and antituberculosis drugs.’
    • ‘Unlike Streptococcus pneumoniae, group A beta-hemolytic streptococci have not developed resistance to penicillins.’
    • ‘Most antibiotics such as penicillins, cyclosporines, and aminoglycosides can be used safely during pregnancy, but tetracyclines should be avoided.’
    • ‘Antibiotic categories to consider include penicillins, cephalosporins, and macrolides.’
  • 2A blue mould of a type that produces penicillin.

Origin

From the modern Latin genus name Penicillium (see penicillium) + -in.

Pronunciation

penicillin

/pɛnɪˈsɪlɪn/