Definition of penicillin in English:


Line breaks: peni|cil¦lin
Pronunciation: /pɛnɪˈsɪlɪn


[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
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Most antibiotics such as penicillins, cyclosporines, and aminoglycosides can be used safely during pregnancy, but tetracyclines should be avoided.
2A blue mould of a type that produces penicillin.


from the modern Latin genus name Penicillium (see penicillium) + -in1.

Definition of penicillin in: