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penicillin Full Definition

penicillin Full Definition

penicillin Full Definition
Definition of
Define penicillin


penicillin /pɛnɪˈsɪlɪn/noun
: an 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.
: a blue mould of a type that produces penicillin.
: a group of antibiotics that contain 6-aminopenicillanic acid with a side chain attached to the 6-amino group. The penicillin nucleus is the chief structural requirement for biological activity. The side-chain structure determines many of the antibacterial and pharmacological characteristics. (Goodman and Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p1065)

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