cy·​to·​tox·​in ˌsī-tə-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce cytotoxin (audio)
: a substance (such as a toxin or antibody) having a toxic effect on cells

Examples of cytotoxin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For example, the cycad sequenced has four copies of a fungal gene for a cytotoxin, a protein that can bore holes in foreign cells, and the Ceratopteris genome has 36 copies of another cytotoxin gene from a bacterium. Byelizabeth Pennisi,, 22 Sep. 2022 The venom from the recluse is a potent cytotoxin that can cause necrotic lesions that could take months to heal. al, 28 June 2022 Case in point: None of the athletes tested in his recent study experienced health problems, aside from unrelated GI stress, despite their elevated cytotoxin levels. Amanda MacMillan, Outside Online, 17 June 2015 The venom is a cytotoxin (cell-destroying) that produces massive tissue damage, and what is reported to be the most agonizing of any snakebite. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, 30 June 2020 Venoms contain cytotoxins, cardiotoxins, hemotoxins and neurotoxins, components of which can be used in the treatment of cancer and many other medical conditions. Malia Wollan, New York Times, 30 June 2017

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

1900, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cytotoxin was in 1900

Dictionary Entries Near cytotoxin

Cite this Entry

“Cytotoxin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


cy·​to·​tox·​in ˌsīt-ə-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce cytotoxin (audio)
: a substance (as a toxin or antibody) having a toxic effect on cells
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