ptomaine

noun

: any of various organic bases which are formed by the action of putrefactive bacteria on nitrogenous matter and some of which are poisonous

Word History

Etymology

Italian ptomaina, from Greek ptōma fall, fallen body, corpse, from piptein to fall — more at feather

First Known Use

1880, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ptomaine was in 1880

Dictionary Entries Near ptomaine

Cite this Entry

“Ptomaine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ptomaine. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

ptomaine

noun
: any of various often poisonous compounds formed by the action of decay-producing bacteria on nitrogen-containing matter (as proteins)

Medical Definition

ptomaine

noun
pto·​maine ˈtō-ˌmān How to pronounce ptomaine (audio) tō-ˈ How to pronounce ptomaine (audio)
: any of various organic bases formed by the action of putrefactive bacteria on nitrogenous matter and including some which are poisonous compare leukomaine
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