strychnine

noun
strych·​nine | \ ˈstrik-ˌnīn How to pronounce strychnine (audio) , -nən, -ˌnēn \

Definition of strychnine

: a bitter poisonous alkaloid C21H22N2O2 that is obtained from nux vomica and related plants (genus Strychnos) and is used as a poison (as for rodents) and medicinally as a stimulant of the central nervous system

Examples of strychnine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Much of Christie’s unwaning appeal relies on incongruity—maleficence emerging in the most genteel of contexts, like strychnine in the tea—whereas the Thrombeys make no pretense of decency. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Pastiche and Politics in “Knives Out”," 22 Nov. 2019 Meanwhile the Eberle brothers were recruiting their relatives to the WCU, urging people not to register for the draft, and stashing ammunition, strychnine and dynamite. Trevor Paulhus, Smithsonian, "When the Socialist Revolution Came to Oklahoma—and Was Crushed," 19 Sep. 2019 There were reports of stimulants like cocaine and strychnine to keep competitors alert. Todd Balf, Outside Online, "Why Haven't You Heard of Marshall "Major" Taylor?," 19 Apr. 2018 Other dangerous ingredients used in homeopathy products include nux vomica, which contains strychnine. Maria Clark, NOLA.com, "Beetle genitals could hold key to better medical tools: report," 20 Dec. 2017 Other dangerous ingredients used in homeopathy products include nux vomica, which contains strychnine. Maria Clark, NOLA.com, "Beetle genitals could hold key to better medical tools: report," 20 Dec. 2017 Other dangerous ingredients used in homeopathy products include nux vomica, which contains strychnine. Maria Clark, NOLA.com, "Beetle genitals could hold key to better medical tools: report," 20 Dec. 2017 Other remedies have contained a toxic substance called strychnine, which is also used as a rat poison in higher doses. Michael Nedelman, CNN, "FDA takes on homeopathic drugs with potential safety risks," 19 Dec. 2017 Nux vomica or nuxvomica is made from the same tree that is the source of strychnine, used to poison rodents and birds. Maggie Fox, NBC News, "FDA to crack down on ‘snake oil’ homeopathy," 19 Dec. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of strychnine

1819, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for strychnine

French, from New Latin Strychnos, from Latin, nightshade, from Greek

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about strychnine

Time Traveler for strychnine

Time Traveler

The first known use of strychnine was in 1819

See more words from the same year

Statistics for strychnine

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Strychnine.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/strychnine. Accessed 14 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for strychnine

strychnine

noun
How to pronounce strychnine (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of strychnine

: a poisonous substance that can be used in very small amounts as a medicine

strychnine

noun
strych·​nine | \ ˈstrik-ˌnīn How to pronounce strychnine (audio) , -nən How to pronounce strychnine (audio) , -ˌnēn How to pronounce strychnine (audio) \

Medical Definition of strychnine

: a bitter poisonous alkaloid C21H22N2O2 that is obtained from nux vomica and related plants of the genus Strychnos and is used as a poison (as for rodents) and medicinally as a stimulant of the central nervous system

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on strychnine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with strychnine

Spanish Central: Translation of strychnine

Nglish: Translation of strychnine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about strychnine

Comments on strychnine

What made you want to look up strychnine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to assail by words or arguments

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!