saxitoxin

noun

sax·​i·​tox·​in ˌsak-sə-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce saxitoxin (audio)
: a potent nonprotein neurotoxin C10H17N7O4·2HCl that originates especially in dinoflagellates (genera Alexandrium, Gymnodinium, and Pyrodinium) found in red tides and that sometimes occurs in and renders toxic normally edible mollusks which feed on them

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Also gathered there and likely to have high levels of saxitoxin were butter clams, a species known for holding the toxins for extended time periods — and also an important food source for personal-use harvesters. Yereth Rosen, Anchorage Daily News, 23 June 2022 The poison, called saxitoxin, comes from the same algae that glows like fairy dust at night in the lagoon. USA TODAY, 21 Feb. 2020 The study, led by Florida Tech, is the first report of saxitoxin being detected in marine mammals absent an algae bloom. USA TODAY, 21 Feb. 2020 Analysis found moderate levels of saxitoxin in samples taken from some decaying bodies. Hal Bernton, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Nov. 2019 The rest had moderate levels of saxitoxin, according to Lefebvre. Hal Bernton, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Nov. 2019 The two most common strains -- saxitoxin and domoic acid -- attack the nervous system. Hal Bernton, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Nov. 2019 Alexandrium produces the toxin saxitoxin, which remains in the gulf in low concentrations during the year and explodes during blooms. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, 5 July 2019 According to Sheffield, three of the walruses had low to moderate levels of saxitoxin, while the fourth one had high levels. Author: Davis Hovey, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Dec. 2017 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

saxi- (from New Latin Saxidomus giganteus, species of butter clam from which it is isolated) + toxin

First Known Use

1962, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of saxitoxin was in 1962

Dictionary Entries Near saxitoxin

Cite this Entry

“Saxitoxin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/saxitoxin. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Medical Definition

saxitoxin

noun

saxi·​tox·​in ˌsak-sə-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce saxitoxin (audio)
: a potent nonprotein neurotoxin C10H17N7O4·2HCl that originates especially in dinoflagellates (as of the genera Alexandrium, Gymnodinium, and Pyrodinium) found in red tides and causes paralytic shellfish poisoning when ingested in contaminated shellfish

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