nic·​o·​tine | \ˈni-kə-ˌtēn \

Definition of nicotine 

: a poisonous alkaloid C10H14N2 that is the chief active principle of tobacco and is used as an insecticide

Examples of nicotine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Use of the product can lead to nicotine addiction, as well as cancers of the mouth, esophagus and pancreas, the CDC said, and possible increases in the risk of death from heart disease and stroke. Leada Gore,, "8 weeks of free nicotine patches available through health department program," 19 Feb. 2018 The group offers regular counseling sessions, nicotine patches and chewing gum. Elena Berton, USA TODAY, "The French still love their cigarettes. But the once chic image is going up in smoke," 2 July 2018 Instead, American teens have embraced nicotine-delivery technology with a ferocity that has parents, pediatricians, and public schools scrambling for solutions. Longreads, "The Top 5 Longreads of the Week," 4 May 2018 Both buyers and sellers of the alternative nicotine delivery systems would be subject to the same requirement that apply to tobacco sales. Graydon Megan,, "Elmhurst moves to regulate vapes and other non-tobacco nicotine," 13 Mar. 2018 Looser regulation was expected to foster innovation in e-cigarettes and other nicotine products. The Economist, "Juuling is popular—perhaps too much so," 24 May 2018 During this time, patients are advised to stop smoking and using tobacco and nicotine products, as well as cutting out hormonal birth control methods. Erin Nicole Celletti, Allure, "The Complete Guide to Breast Augmentation," 10 Apr. 2018 In addition to water, the liquid pods sold by Juul and other vaping companies usually contain nicotine, which is addictive, and other chemicals. Andy Marso, kansascity, "It’s called Juul and kids are crazy about using it to vape. Can Jay Nixon stop them?," 19 June 2018 Freeing oneself from the constant cravings for nicotine, not to mention the considerable cost, can mean a kind of renewal in life. Michael Boyce, USA TODAY, "These 3 lives were changed forever with the choice to quit smoking," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nicotine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nicotine

1817, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nicotine

French, from New Latin nicotiana

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Statistics for nicotine

Last Updated

22 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nicotine

The first known use of nicotine was in 1817

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More Definitions for nicotine



English Language Learners Definition of nicotine

: a poisonous substance in tobacco that makes it difficult for people to stop smoking cigarettes


nic·​o·​tine | \ˈni-kə-ˌtēn \

Kids Definition of nicotine

: a poisonous substance found in small amounts in tobacco


nic·​o·​tine | \ˈnik-ə-ˌtēn \

Medical Definition of nicotine 

: a poisonous alkaloid C10H14N2 that is the chief active principle of tobacco and that is used as an insecticide and is sometimes used in smoking cessation aids

Note: Trademarks for nicotine include Nicoderm, Nicorette, and Nicotrol.

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Comments on nicotine

What made you want to look up nicotine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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