ster·oid (stĕroid′, stîr-)
1. Any of numerous fat-soluble organic compounds that have a core structure of 17 carbon atoms arranged in four rings, found naturally in animals, plants, and fungi, or produced synthetically. Steroids include the sterols (such as cholesterol), sex hormones (such as estrogen and testosterone), corticosteroid hormones (such as cortisol), bile acids, and anabolic steroids.
2. Informal An anabolic steroid.
In a very large, enhanced, or exaggerated form: "a weapon one observer had called an M16 on steroids" (Stephen Coonts).
steroid′, ste·roidal (stĕ-roidl, stĭ-) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.