from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Less than lethal: sublethal dosages.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Less than lethal

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not quite fatal: as, sublethal doses.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • These "sublethal" effects are difficult to gauge, but research suggests they are real. Top headlines

  • Neonicotinoids are of particular concern because they have cumulative, sublethal effects on insect pollinators that correspond to CCD symptoms -- namely, neurobehavioral and immune system disruptions.

    Annie Spiegelman: Beekeepers Ask EPA to Remove Bayer Pesticide Linked to Colony Collapse Disorder

  • Three major pathways of long-term impacts emerge: (1) chronic persistence of oil, biological exposures, and population impacts to species closely associated with shallow sediments; (2) delayed population impacts of sublethal doses compromising health, growth, and reproduction; and (3) indirect effects of trophic and interaction cascades, all of which transmit impacts well beyond the acute-phase mortality.

    Exxon Valdez oil spill

  • Continued surface spraying could multiply resistance because of the repeated exposure of stored product insect populations to sublethal dosages.

    8. Pest control using insecticides

  • Hamburger group in Paris subsequently ad a similar success with a dizygotic twin recipient following sublethal X-ray treatment.

    Joseph E. Murray - Nobel Lecture

  • The one success was our third patient, a dizygotic twin who received a sublethal, non-marrow requiring, dose of total body X-ray, given by Dr. James B. Dealy, followed by a kidney graft from his twin brother in 1959.

    Joseph E. Murray - Nobel Lecture

  • At a sublethal concentration, it will slow down the fish, which can then be easily harvested from the ponds.

    28. Non-toxic aquarium fish-catching

  • The effect of the spray was later rated as poor, probably because the spray deposit was sublethal.

    Operation Ranch Hand

  • From what one knows of the genetic system of bacteria it is already quite possible to predict that if strains of streptococci or staphylococci are cultivated in sublethal concentrations of gorgonzolin a new variant will eventually appear which is entirely resistant to the action of gorgonzolin.

    The Evolution of a Proof

  • After a sublethal virus dose the mice develop protective antibodies that protect against severe disease.

    Watching the Watchers


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