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

Dogs and humans have a very special relationship, where dogs have actually hijacked the human oxytocin bonding pathway that is normally reserved for our babies. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "An Expert Has Confirmed That Dogs Understand How Much We Love Them," 28 Oct. 2016 Science has studied how coupons can cause a rise in oxytocin levels. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Why so many hip startups advertise with snail mail," 1 Nov. 2018 Oliver Bosch, a neurobiologist at the University of Regensburg in Germany, studies maternal instinct in mammals and has found that oxytocin is released in the amygdala when a mother faces a danger to herself and her children. Rowan Hooper, WSJ, "The Biology of Bravery—and Fear," 19 Oct. 2018 The right kind of touch, like a reassuring pat on the back or warm embrace, elicits in the recipient the release of the feel-good hormone oxytocin. Maridel Reyes, Glamour, "'Biohacking' Your Anxiety Is a Buzzy Practice—but What Does It Actually Mean?," 16 Oct. 2018 Thank you, Amy, for filling me with oxytocin and reminding me that even when the world is painful, there are pleasures worth being present for, such as orgasms. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "This Best-Selling Amazon Vibrator Broke My Depression," 17 July 2018 Lab tests later revealed that Hrdy’s levels of a brain chemical called oxytocin spiked by 63 percent that evening. National Geographic, "Is Maternal Instinct Only for Moms? Here's the Science.," 9 May 2018 In 2015, Marlin co-authored a study in the journal Nature on the effect oxytocin had on mice. National Geographic, "Is Maternal Instinct Only for Moms? Here's the Science.," 9 May 2018 Furthermore, only 50% of the cats studied produced any oxytocin at all. Bridget Mallon, ELLE Decor, "Who Loves Their Owners More: Cats Or Dogs?," 2 Feb. 2016

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.

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First Known Use of oxytocin

1928, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oxytocin

International Scientific Vocabulary, from oxytocic

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Time Traveler for oxytocin

The first known use of oxytocin was in 1928

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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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