co·​tin·​ine ˈkō-tə-ˌnēn How to pronounce cotinine (audio) -ˌnīn How to pronounce cotinine (audio)
: an alkaloid C10H12N2O that is the principal metabolite of nicotine

Examples of cotinine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Since tobacco use has been associated with higher levels of heavy metals in the body, the researchers also tested the samples for an alkaloid found in tobacco but not cannabis, called cotinine. Kaitlin Sullivan, Health, 16 Sep. 2023 Following the treatment period, participants’ smoking behaviour was monitored for four weeks, both by self-reporting and by monitoring urine for cotinine — a product formed when nicotine is broken down in the body. Simon Makin, Scientific American, 23 June 2023 Four compounds—caffeine, nicotine, acetaminophen and cotinine (a chemical produced by the body after exposure to nicotine)—showed up on every continent, including Antarctica. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, 1 June 2022 By the way, the researchers used measurements of cotinine concentrations to ensure that the mothers had been non-smokers. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 9 Oct. 2022 The lab noted positive findings for caffeine, cotinine and Delta-9 carboxy THC. al, 15 Oct. 2021 According to the report, the amounts of caffeine and cotinine found in his system are not typically toxicologically significant. al, 15 Oct. 2021 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cotinine is a compound formed after the chemical nicotine enters the body. al, 15 Oct. 2021 The study defined tobacco exposure as a child reporting smoking, living with a smoker or having serum cotinine levels, which measures recent exposure to nicotine, greater than 0.05 micrograms per liter. Megan Marples, CNN, 25 Feb. 2021

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

Word History


probably anagram of nicotine

First Known Use

1893, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cotinine was in 1893

Dictionary Entries Near cotinine

Cite this Entry

“Cotinine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


co·​tin·​ine ˈkōt-ᵊn-ˌēn How to pronounce cotinine (audio) -ˌīn How to pronounce cotinine (audio)
: an alkaloid C10H12N2O that is the principal metabolite of nicotine and is widely used as an indicator of recent exposure to nicotine
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