Definition of semisynthetic in US English:



  • (of a substance) made by synthesis from a naturally occurring material.

    ‘a wide range of semisynthetic penicillins’
    • ‘This is a semi-synthetic substance used as a thickening substance and to encourage lather.’
    • ‘Diamorphine is a semi-synthetic derivative of morphine with similar pharmacological properties but with greater potency.’
    • ‘Pyrethroids for example may be quite soft on mammals and birds but this particular group of semi-synthetic pesticides is extremely toxic to insects, fish and amphibians.’
    • ‘The Germans have begun work on semi-synthetic analogs to certain ferulic-acid skeletal-remnant panaxosides, in a mutual agreement with an unnamed Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturer.’
    • ‘Added to promote lathering, this semi-synthetic agent is also irritating to skin and responsible for allergic reactions.’