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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Larval pufferfish protected by maternal tetrodotoxin, Toxicon, 78 35-40. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 6 Feb. 2015 In fact, a single pufferfish has enough tetrodotoxin to take out 1,200 humans. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 19 Jan. 2023 The newts produce a chemical in their skin called tetrodotoxin, or TTX for short, that's made by other poisonous animals like pufferfish. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 21 June 2011 Last year's posts on how dolphins might not be getting high on tetrodotoxin and my open letter to Discovery Channel for their terrible Megalodon fauxmentary stayed in the top ten this year. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 31 Dec. 2014 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 See More

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 30 Mar. 2023.

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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