te·​tro·​do·​tox·​in te-ˌtrō-də-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce tetrodotoxin (audio)
: 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 fish’s organs, skin, blood and bones contain high concentrations of tetrodotoxin, a deadly poison. Chris Lau, CNN, 25 June 2024 Pufferfish poison is known as tetrodotoxin, or TTX. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 June 2024 At least five toxins were detected in Lin’s body, including mercury and tetrodotoxin – an extremely potent poison found in pufferfish, Chinese financial magazine Caixin reported, citing people close to the video game tycoon. Nectar Gan, CNN, 3 Apr. 2024 Only the most highly skilled sushi chefs are allowed by law to clean them, and it’s been said that the best ones know how to prepare the fish while allowing the slightest amount of tetrodotoxin to lace the meat, which is reported to provide a slight numbing sensation. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 23 Aug. 2023 Northern Puffer vs Toxic Smooth Puffer ID While the organs of a northern puffer do not contain tetrodotoxin, biologists say there can be some in their skin, and levels can vary. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 23 Aug. 2023 The fish’s organs, as well as skin, blood and bones, contain high concentrations of a deadly poison known as tetrodotoxin. Heather Chen, CNN, 10 Apr. 2023 The team found that eggs contained roughly 1.604 ng of tetrodotoxin while larvae had anywhere from 0.015–0.107 ng in their tissues. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 6 Feb. 2015 Their venom contains tetrodotoxin, the same potent neurotoxin carried by the deadly pufferfish. Steven Hill, Field & Stream, 20 Mar. 2023

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1911, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tetrodotoxin was in 1911

Dictionary Entries Near tetrodotoxin

Cite this Entry

“Tetrodotoxin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tetrodotoxin. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


te·​tro·​do·​tox·​in te-ˌtrōd-ə-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce tetrodotoxin (audio)
: a neurotoxin C11H17N3O8 that is found especially in pufferfishes and that blocks nerve conduction by suppressing permeability of the nerve fiber to sodium ions
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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