oxy·​to·​cin | \ ˌäk-si-ˈtō-sᵊn How to pronounce oxytocin (audio) \

Definition of oxytocin

: 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 Ultimately, the pleasantness of the touch determines how much oxytocin is released according to previous research. Jennifer Fields, Fortune, 28 May 2022 In 2017, Stanford researchers showed that when given as a nasal spray, oxytocin can significantly decrease migraine pain.4 More research is needed but so far the data has been positive, Dr. Ailani notes. Abigail Libers, SELF, 13 May 2022 As part of ongoing research Burkhart has used oxytocin to help introduce strange lions in captive facilities. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Mar. 2022 There is the release of neurochemicals such as endorphins and oxytocin, which promote affection and bonding. Outside Online, 7 Sep. 2021 Studies show that whenever those lips (and tongues) touch, the sensual action releases happy chemicals (oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin), lowers stress, and even increases overall relationship satisfaction. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 7 July 2022 Characters can help give learners a quick dose of oxytocin by developing trust and empathy. Yec, Forbes, 19 May 2022 Among other things, the team’s analysis included genes involved in producing oxytocin—a hormone associated with social bonding—and cortisol, which is a key stress hormone. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, 9 June 2022 Research shows that the repetitive action of simply petting a dog produces oxytocin, a hormone that relieves stress. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 31 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of oxytocin

1928, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oxytocin

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."

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The first known use of oxytocin was in 1928

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Last Updated

18 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Oxytocin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oxytocin. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for oxytocin


oxy·​to·​cin | \ -ˈtōs-ᵊn How to pronounce oxytocin (audio) \

Medical Definition of oxytocin

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

More from Merriam-Webster on oxytocin

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oxytocin


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