croton oil


: a viscid acrid fixed oil obtained from seeds of an Asian croton (Croton tiglium) formerly used as a powerful purgative but now used especially in pharmacological experiments as an irritant

Word History

First Known Use

1827, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of croton oil was in 1827

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Cite this Entry

“Croton oil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2023.

Medical Definition

croton oil

: a viscid irritating oil from an Asian plant of the genus Croton (C. tiglium) that has been used in folk medicine as a cathartic

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