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

Examples of croton oil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The mice painted only with croton oil hadn’t developed tumors. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, 11 Dec. 2023 When the researchers added some slicks of croton oil to the same area, the results were startlingly different. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, 11 Dec. 2023 Like croton oil, asbestos seems to act as a promoter. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, 11 Dec. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1827, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near croton oil

Cite this Entry

“Croton oil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

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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