te·​rato·​gen tə-ˈra-tə-jən How to pronounce teratogen (audio)
: a teratogenic agent

Examples of teratogen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web It is not characterized as a carcinogen, but is a teratogen, an agent that can disturb the development of the embryo or fetus after prolonged exposure. Dori Price, Good Housekeeping, 24 Aug. 2022 What researchers know for sure is that alcohol is a teratogen -- an agent that causes birth defects. Anchorage Daily News, 24 June 2019 Some teratogens can only cause damage during a specific window of time. Anchorage Daily News, 24 June 2019 The science of teratogens While much is now known about alcohol and its impact on a developing fetus, there’s more to learn. Anchorage Daily News, 24 June 2019 According to Levin, these results show that the brain protects the developing body against drugs that otherwise might be dangerous teratogens (compounds that cause birth defects). Adam Rogers, WIRED, 18 Mar. 2018 Some substances, known as teratogens, are perfectly fine for adults but are toxic for developing fetuses. Yvette D'entremont, SELF, 13 Oct. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'teratogen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


terato- + -gen, after teratogenic

First Known Use

1959, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of teratogen was in 1959

Dictionary Entries Near teratogen

Cite this Entry

“Teratogen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/teratogen. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


te·​rato·​gen tə-ˈrat-ə-jən How to pronounce teratogen (audio)
: a teratogenic agent (as a drug or virus)

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