Definition of pharmaceutical in English:



  • Relating to medicinal drugs, or their preparation, use, or sale.

    ‘a pharmaceutical drug’
    ‘the pharmaceutical industry’
    • ‘Most work on HIV vaccines is being done in the public sector rather than the pharmaceutical industry.’
    • ‘He also called on the pharmaceutical industry to set up drug companies to ease the access of drugs in the district.’
    • ‘The pharmaceutical industry could be reluctant to waive any part of its power in the conduct of studies that it funds entirely.’
    • ‘So what lies in store for the research-based pharmaceutical industry?’
    • ‘The pharmaceutical industry has little incentive to develop new drugs for use primarily in developing countries.’
    • ‘The organisation believes that the pharmaceutical industry is willing to lower the price of antimalarial drugs.’
    • ‘All information provided by the pharmaceutical industry has to satisfy stringent regulations.’
    • ‘Forced switches of drugs within patent threaten the pharmaceutical industry's earning capacity.’
    • ‘Increasingly the pharmaceutical industry is advertising directly to consumers.’
    • ‘The pharmaceutical industry has been reluctant to study medicines in children for various reasons.’
    • ‘In the postwar period, the pharmaceutical industry was free-wheeling and little regulated.’
    • ‘The appearance of fake anticancer drugs in the United States led to local action by the pharmaceutical industry.’
    • ‘He wanted to create a biocatalyst, using enzymes to try and find applications in the pharmaceutical industry.’
    • ‘The pharmaceutical industry is clearly unable to meet the needs of people with neglected diseases.’
    • ‘The pharmaceutical industry is among the most profitable in the world, with profits nearly four times the average.’
    • ‘From the perspective of the pharmaceutical industry, statins are an ideal group of drugs.’
    • ‘There was fury against the pharmaceutical industry and the massive profits that are being made.’
    • ‘A long period is needed for pharmaceutical drugs to acquire marketing approval.’
    • ‘For some reason the pharmaceutical industry is seen as the devil, while many others in health care are seen as saintly.’
    • ‘The public sector has decided to make it public policy to leave drug development in the hands of the pharmaceutical industry.’


  • 1A compound manufactured for use as a medicinal drug.

    ‘pharmaceuticals and cosmetics’
    [as modifier] ‘pharmaceuticals companies’
    • ‘Some biologists may only work in silico, searching the databases for novel ways to make vitamins or pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics.’
    • ‘Can you tell us more about this herb, especially what other antidepressants or pharmaceuticals should be avoided?’
    • ‘These biomolecules are used effectively in pharmaceuticals and in the development of vaccines and diagnostics.’
    • ‘As evidence, he points to the changes being made in the way manufacturers of pharmaceuticals are inspected.’
    • ‘Bioprospecting is one avenue for the discovery of novel pharmaceuticals, especially antibiotics.’
    1. 1.1Shares in companies manufacturing medicinal drugs.
      ‘the drugs group lost 6p and other pharmaceuticals were also dragged lower’
      • ‘Finally, it's a big week for the pharmaceuticals with no less than five biotechs reporting results.’
      • ‘We have clients in most sectors, including finance, pharmaceuticals, telecoms and government.’
      • ‘Analysts expect cross-border mergers and acquisitions to intensify in areas like pharmaceuticals and software.’
      • ‘Muglia said the main markets targeted would be oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, financial services and universities.’
      • ‘Shares in defence, energy and pharmaceuticals are already on the rise and the mood is good.’


Mid 17th century: via late Latin from Greek pharmakeutikos (from pharmakeutēs druggist, from pharmakon drug) + -al.