oxytocin

noun

oxy·​to·​cin ˌäk-si-ˈtō-sᵊn How to pronounce oxytocin (audio)
: a pituitary octapeptide hormone C43H66N12O12S2 that stimulates especially the contraction of uterine muscle and the secretion of milk

Examples of oxytocin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This behavior may be linked to oxytocin as well as to other hormones and steroids. Lambeth Hochwald, Parents, 7 Jan. 2024 According to a recent study, ASMR audio helped lull participants into a suitably sleepy psychologically comfortable state, and triggered the release of chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine, which help to promote relaxation. Georgia Day, Glamour, 25 Dec. 2023 The deep pressure stimulation from weighted blankets can also have a calming effect, reducing cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and increasing oxytocin, the comfort hormone. Erica Lamberg, Fox News, 7 Dec. 2023 The deep pressure stimulation from weighted blankets can also have a calming effect, reducing cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and increasing oxytocin, the comfort hormone, Vuu told Fox News Digital. Erica Lamberg, Fox News, 7 Dec. 2023 As the body becomes buoyant more oxytocin is released and more pain-inhibiting endorphins flood the brain which could result in less need for medications. Bekka Besich, Parents, 3 Sep. 2023 The brain hormone receptors receive the neural signaling from the hormones to release dozens of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins. Maria Williams, USA TODAY, 25 Aug. 2023 The result of that oxytocin: a viewer who’s more likely to trust, support, and like the character. Sabrina Talbert, Women's Health, 24 June 2023 Being in love is tied to reward systems involving dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin, which play a role in the development of trust, safety, and warmth — all the good stuff of romantic relationships. Eleanor Morgan, refinery29.com, 13 July 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

oxytoc(ic) + -in entry 1

Note: According to Science News Letter, vol. 12, no. 341 (October 22, 1927), p. 259, the name was given after pituitary extracts were "obtained in purified form from a single gland by Dr. Oliver Kamm and associates working in the research laboratories of Parke Davis and Company at Detroit."

First Known Use

1928, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oxytocin was in 1928

Dictionary Entries Near oxytocin

Cite this Entry

“Oxytocin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oxytocin. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

oxytocin

noun
oxy·​to·​cin -ˈtōs-ᵊn How to pronounce oxytocin (audio)
1
: an octapeptide hormone C43H66N12O12S2 secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland that stimulates especially the contraction of uterine muscle and the secretion of milk

called also alpha-hypophamine

2
: a synthetic version of oxytocin used especially to initiate or increase uterine contractions (as in the induction of labor) see pitocin

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