domoic acid


do·​mo·​ic acid də-ˈmō-ik- How to pronounce domoic acid (audio)
: a neurotoxin C15H21NO6 that is produced by some diatoms (especially genus Pseudo-nitzschia) and has caused poisoning in vertebrates (such as sea lions, birds, and humans) that have consumed diatom-contaminated fish or shellfish

Examples of domoic acid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One initial suspect was domoic acid, a neurotoxin produced by microscopic algae. Lisa M. Krieger, The Mercury News, 29 May 2024 So, too, are tests for domoic acid, which has poisoned large numbers of sea lions in the past, as well as other common pathogens. Susanne Rust, Los Angeles Times, 23 May 2024 The domoic acid outbreak during the summer of 2023, which killed hundreds of sea lions and dolphins, is another. Susanne Rust, Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2024 The bloom consisted of an overgrowth of pseudo-nitzschia marine algae, which produces the neurotoxin domoic acid. Caroline Petrow-Cohen, Los Angeles Times, 31 Jan. 2024 Seeding experiments—about a dozen have taken place so far—had not shown the production of domoic acid. Andrew Moseman, Discover Magazine, 16 Mar. 2010 The likely cause, domoic acid from an offshore algae bloom, is not unusual. Dennis Romero, NBC News, 27 June 2023 California sea lions are the ocean mammals most frequently exposed to domoic acid because of the location of their foraging sites and habitats, according to the Channel Islands institute. Summer Lin, Los Angeles Times, 20 June 2023 The algae produce a neurotoxin called domoic acid that harms animals, including humans. Devika Rao, The Week, 3 July 2023

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

Word History


Japanese dōmoi, the alga Chondria armata

First Known Use

1982, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of domoic acid was in 1982

Dictionary Entries Near domoic acid

Cite this Entry

“Domoic acid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

domoic acid

do·​mo·​ic acid də-ˈmō-ik- How to pronounce domoic acid (audio)
: a neurotoxin analog C15H21NO6 of glutamic acid that is produced chiefly by marine diatoms (as Pseudo-nitzschia australis and Pseudo-nitzschia pungens) and has caused poisoning in sea mammals and birds and amnesic shellfish poisoning in humans who have consumed contaminated fish or shellfish

More from Merriam-Webster on domoic acid

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!