af·​la·​tox·​in ˌa-flə-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce aflatoxin (audio)
: any of several carcinogenic mycotoxins that are produced especially in stored agricultural crops (such as peanuts) by molds (such as Aspergillus flavus)

Examples of aflatoxin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In countries with high aflatoxin exposure, like China and parts of Africa, fewer than 1 in 1,000 people develop liver cancer. Veronique Greenwood, Discover Magazine, 4 Jan. 2012 However, there have been batches that have growing harmful molds like aflatoxin, which has caused food recalls of peanut products over the years. Christina Manian, Rdn, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 July 2023 The numbers could be higher, the agency said, adding that not all of the cases have been confirmed to be aflatoxin poisoning. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, 18 Aug. 2021 By the way: While the FDA does recommend washing your hands after touching pet food, there is no evidence to suggest that handling products with aflatoxin in them puts humans at risk of aflatoxin poisoning. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, 13 Oct. 2020 The Corn Belt is on track to become unsuitable for corn cultivation by 2100, and the level of aflatoxins in corn is set to increase. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 21 Aug. 2022 Creating an aflatoxin-resistant seed is not straightforward. Jori Lewis, Discover Magazine, 2 Nov. 2017 In Uganda, where most corn is grown by small farmers who lack proper facilities to dry and store it, contamination with fungi that produce dangerous substances called aflatoxin has been a significant human and animal health concern. Abay Yimere, The Conversation, 19 Jan. 2023 For instance, Bick is now developing a sensor for aflatoxin, a residue of fungus that grows on grain, causing liver cancer when consumed by humans. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, 30 Oct. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aflatoxin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


afla-, from initial letters of New Latin Aspergillus flavus, species of mold + toxin

First Known Use

1962, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aflatoxin was in 1962

Dictionary Entries Near aflatoxin

Cite this Entry

“Aflatoxin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


af·​la·​tox·​in ˌaf-lə-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce aflatoxin (audio)
: any of several carcinogenic mycotoxins that are produced especially in stored agricultural crops (as peanuts) by molds (as Aspergillus flavus)

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