te·​tro·​do·​tox·​in | \ te-ˌtrō-də-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce tetrodotoxin (audio) \

Definition of tetrodotoxin

: a neurotoxin C11H17N3O8 found especially in puffer fish that blocks nerve conduction by suppressing permeability of the nerve fiber to sodium ions

Examples of tetrodotoxin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The toadlets secrete a poison called tetrodotoxin, which is the same poison found in fugo fish, Goutte said. Megan Marples, CNN, 28 Apr. 2021 Hammerhead worms produce tetrodotoxin, the same deadly neurotoxin produced by pufferfish. Aj Willingham, CNN, 30 Dec. 2020 While the worms do not appear to secrete enough of the toxin through the skin to be considered dangerous, Murphy says to exercise caution, as tetrodotoxin is very dangerous. Allen Kim, CNN, 23 Nov. 2020 In the most delicious species, the innards are suffused with the neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin (TTX). New York Times, 4 Dec. 2020 The worms produce tetrodotoxin, the same deadly neurotoxin produced by pufferfish, according to a study from Utah State University. Allen Kim, CNN, 23 Nov. 2020 Some populations of this common amphibian are covered in a deadly neurotoxin—a compound called tetrodotoxin (TTX) that causes paralysis and is also found in most species of pufferfish as well as the notorious blue-ringed octopus. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Apr. 2020 Pufferfishes, for example, get their tetrodotoxin from a marine bacterium. National Geographic, 7 Jan. 2020 The tetrodotoxin is up to 1,200 times more poisonous than that of cyanide, and can cause deadening of the tongue and lips, dizziness, vomiting, arrhythmia, difficulty breathing, muscle paralysis, and, if left untreated, death. Daniel Jameson, Condé Nast Traveler, 19 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tetrodotoxin.' 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 tetrodotoxin

1911, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tetrodotoxin

International Scientific Vocabulary tetrodo- (from New Latin Tetrodon, genus of tropical marine fishes) + toxin

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Time Traveler for tetrodotoxin

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The first known use of tetrodotoxin was in 1911

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Dictionary Entries Near tetrodotoxin



tetrolic acid

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Cite this Entry

“Tetrodotoxin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tetrodotoxin. Accessed 3 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for tetrodotoxin


te·​tro·​do·​tox·​in | \ te-ˌtrōd-ə-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce tetrodotoxin (audio) \

Medical Definition of tetrodotoxin

: a neurotoxin C11H17N3O8 that is found especially in pufferfishes and that blocks nerve conduction by suppressing permeability of the nerve fiber to sodium ions


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