nic·​o·​tine | \ ˈni-kə-ˌtēn How to pronounce nicotine (audio) \

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

One refill pod contains as much nicotine as of a pack of cigarettes. Jennifer Maloney, WSJ, "Altria Will Pull Its E-Cigarette Pods From the Market," 25 Oct. 2018 The ban aims to address major public health concerns about a generation of young people who are getting hooked on vaping and nicotine. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "What a ban on e-cigarette flavors could mean for Big Tobacco," 9 Nov. 2018 Evidence suggests that cannabis—though not without its risks—is less harmful than legal substances such as alcohol and nicotine. The Editors, Scientific American, "End the War on Weed," 1 May 2018 The results held whether the e-cigarettes contained nicotine or not. Hallie Detrick, Fortune, "Are E-Cigarettes Going Up in Smoke? Users Show Same Cancer-Causing Chemicals as Regular Smokers," 6 Mar. 2018 Doctors and public health officials have indeed been worrying about the harmful side effects of nicotine on young people’s developing brains and bodies. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Vaping gone viral: the astonishing surge in teens’ e-cigarette use," 18 Dec. 2018 The agency’s main goal is to block products that specifically entice youth to try addictive nicotine-containing products. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "E-cig co. put Viagra, Cialis in vape liquids—the FDA is throbbing mad," 12 Oct. 2018 The dress is a little splashed, a tiny bit nicotine tinged, compared to the one in Cecil Beaton’s glorious preparty portrait of her taken at Buckingham Palace, with its yards of periwinkle tulle spread about her—and all the more compelling for it. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "Christian Dior, “Designer of Dreams,” Wows London—All Over Again," 30 Jan. 2019 Health officials say nicotine is harmful to developing brains. Mike Stobbe, The Seattle Times, "Most teen drug use is down, but officials fret vaping boom," 17 Dec. 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

21 May 2019

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 How to pronounce nicotine (audio) \

Kids Definition of nicotine

: a poisonous substance found in small amounts in tobacco


nic·​o·​tine | \ ˈnik-ə-ˌtēn How to pronounce nicotine (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on nicotine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nicotine

Spanish Central: Translation of nicotine

Nglish: Translation of nicotine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nicotine for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about nicotine

Comments on nicotine

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using a distributed computer network

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