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 The new reporting requirements mirror those for tobacco companies — even for nicotine-free vape products. Liz Farmer, Forbes, "Small Businesses Scrambling To Figure Out New State Vaping Rules And Taxes," 28 Apr. 2021 The level of nicotine delivered is very similar to a cigarette. Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times, "Tobacco giant Philip Morris sees a future without cigarettes — but there’s a catch," 16 Apr. 2021 There was confusing data regarding smoking and nicotine at the beginning of the pandemic. Stephanie Sarkis, Forbes, "Smoking Has Increased During The Pandemic," 20 Mar. 2021 Giuliani will be barred from uploading videos for two weeks for violating YouTube's election integrity policy as well as promoting nicotine, the company told the Washington Examiner. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, "Strike two: YouTube suspends Giuliani a second time for violating 'election integrity policy'," 1 Mar. 2021 Most state smoking-cessation programs offer for free at least two weeks of nicotine-replacement treatments such as a patch, gum or lozenges, but the programs typically do not provide prescriptions for longer-term medications. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "Cigarette sales increased during pandemic as fewer smokers sought help quitting," 13 Mar. 2021 The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve first-of-its-kind legislation to suspend the sale of e-cigarettes in the city, amid concerns over underage use of the addictive nicotine products. Catherine Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco has moved to ban e-cigarettes. Juul has a backup plan," 20 June 2019 The nicotine from cigarettes, cigars, and even secondhand smoke can contribute to headaches, especially migraines and cluster headaches. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "13 Ways to Get Rid of a Headache Without Medicine," 16 Feb. 2021 Those who get their nicotine through devices that vaporize liquid containing the addictive stimulant also face a big price bump. oregonlive, "Thursday is the last day before new Oregon tobacco tax hikes cigarette prices $2 per pack," 31 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for nicotine

Time Traveler

The first known use of nicotine was in 1817

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Statistics for nicotine

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nicotine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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