antibiotic (adj.) Look up antibiotic at
"destructive to micro-organisms," 1894, from French antibiotique (c. 1889), from anti- "against" (see anti-) + biotique "of (microbial) life," from Late Latin bioticus "of life" (see biotic). As a noun, first recorded 1941 in works of U.S. microbiologist Selman Waksman (1888-1973), discoverer of streptomycin. Earlier the adjective was used in a sense "not from living organisms" in debates over the origins of certain fossils (1860).