cy·​to·​tox·​ic ˌsī-tə-ˈtäk-sik How to pronounce cytotoxic (audio)
: of or relating to a cytotoxin
: toxic to cells
cytotoxic drugs

Examples of cytotoxic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The therapy has anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, and cytotoxic effects. Karen Pallarito, Health, 18 Dec. 2023 All of the vegetables present in the soup and the chicken individually had inhibitory activity, although only the chicken lacked cytotoxic activity. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 7 Mar. 2012 And those cytokines were accompanied by corresponding elevations in inflammatory cellular responses, particularly cytotoxic T cells. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 9 May 2023 Interestingly, the complete soup also lacked cytotoxic activity. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 7 Mar. 2012 Then Allison and his colleagues discovered that a molecule called cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) acts as a checkpoint, or built-in brake, on T cells. Quanta Magazine, 3 Feb. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cytotoxic.' 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

1902, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of cytotoxic was in 1902

Dictionary Entries Near cytotoxic

Cite this Entry

“Cytotoxic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


cy·​to·​tox·​ic ˌsīt-ə-ˈtäk-sik How to pronounce cytotoxic (audio)
: toxic to cells
cytotoxic lymphocytes
cytotoxic drugs
cytotoxicity noun
plural cytotoxicities
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