toxic

adjective
tox·​ic | \ ˈtäk-sik How to pronounce toxic (audio) \

Definition of toxic

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation toxic waste a toxic radioactive gas an insecticide highly toxic to birds
2 : exhibiting symptoms of infection or toxicosis the patient became toxic two days later
3 : extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful toxic sarcasm
4 : relating to or being an asset that has lost so much value that it cannot be sold on the market

toxic

noun

Definition of toxic (Entry 2 of 3)

: a toxic substance usually used in plural
variants: or toxico-

Definition of toxic- (Entry 3 of 3)

: poison toxicology

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from toxic

Adjective

toxicity \ täk-​ˈsi-​sə-​tē How to pronounce toxicity (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for toxic

Synonyms: Adjective

envenomed, poison, poisoned, poisonous, venomous

Synonyms: Noun

bane, poison, toxin, venom

Antonyms: Adjective

nonpoisonous, nontoxic, nonvenomous

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of toxic in a Sentence

Adjective

The fumes from that chemical are highly toxic. Tests will be run to determine if the landfill is toxic.

Noun

tested for toxics in the water supply
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Catalytic converters sit in the undercarriage of a car between the engine and the tailpipe, capturing toxic gases and particles. David Hodari, WSJ, "Thieves Mine Catalytic Converters for Metal More Valuable Than Gold," 10 Feb. 2019 The bomb released toxic chlorine gas, seriously injuring two other soldiers responding to the incident. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Soldier Found Guilty of Building, Exploding Poison Gas Bomb," 26 Sep. 2018 Plus, the process of manufacturing them sometimes emits toxic gases. Angela Chen, The Verge, "The best solution for making batteries safer might be the most boring one," 13 Aug. 2018 Ammonia, which is a toxic gas, can cause serious breathing issues and other problems. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "How Cat Poop Can Affect Your Health," 9 Aug. 2018 Aum was found to have committed 10 other incidents, including the kidnapping and imprisoning of Kiyoshi Kariya, the chief of the Meguro public notary office in Tokyo who was later killed, and the murder of a man using highly toxic VX gas. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Japan executes Aum cult leader and six members linked to sarin gas attacks," 6 July 2018 When the toxic gas of populist exclusion is diffused through society, the minority is the first to succumb to it. Amro Ali, Time, "Denmark’s “Ghetto” Policies Are an Ominous Sign That Liberal Europe Is Starting to Unravel at the Seams," 3 July 2018 Lava produces toxic gases including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and hydrofluoric acid, according to Earth Magazine. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Please don’t take selfies with the deadly molten lava, Hawaii authorities ask," 20 June 2018 Any more time and the prolonged exposure to toxic gases makes them too tired to conduct field work. Ula Chrobak, Outside Online, "This Scientist Learns About Life on Mars in Yellowstone," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The June failure to meet emission standards limiting air toxics represents a new challenge for Colstrip owners. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "Puget Sound Energy looks elsewhere for power as pollution-test failure idles most of Montana coal plant," 27 July 2018 The Kennecott Minerals Company cleaned up toxics and donated the subsurface. Tom Kizzia, Anchorage Daily News, "Amid the ruins of the Kennecott mine, a quiet new look at a unique slice of history," 26 June 2018 In the past, the organization has said coffee has health benefits and that the lawsuit made a mockery of the state law intended to protect people from toxics. Washington Post, "California moves to clear coffee of cancer-risk stigma," 17 June 2018 In the past, the organization has said coffee has health benefits and that the lawsuit made a mockery of the state law intended to protect people from toxics. Brian Melley, BostonGlobe.com, "California moves to clear coffee of cancer-risk stigma," 16 June 2018 In the past, the organization has said coffee has health benefits and that the lawsuit made a mockery of the state law intended to protect people from toxics. Brian Melley, BostonGlobe.com, "California moves to clear coffee of cancer-risk stigma," 16 June 2018 In the past, the organization has said coffee has health benefits and that the lawsuit made a mockery of the state law intended to protect people from toxics. Washington Post, "California moves to clear coffee of cancer-risk stigma," 17 June 2018 In the past, the organization has said coffee has health benefits and that the lawsuit made a mockery of the state law intended to protect people from toxics. Brian Melley, BostonGlobe.com, "California moves to clear coffee of cancer-risk stigma," 16 June 2018 Grassroots mobilizations and other forms of pressure helped nudge America’s political leadership to halt pipelines and craft new policies on climate change, fracking, and toxics. Christopher Sellers, Vox, "How Republicans came to embrace anti-environmentalism," 6 July 2018

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

Adjective

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1890, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for toxic

Adjective

Late Latin toxicus, from Latin toxicum poison, from Greek toxikon arrow poison, from neuter of toxikos of a bow, from toxon bow, arrow

Combining form

New Latin, from Latin toxicum

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about toxic

Statistics for toxic

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for toxic

The first known use of toxic was in 1664

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for toxic

toxic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of toxic

: containing poisonous substances

toxic

adjective
tox·​ic | \ ˈtäk-sik How to pronounce toxic (audio) \

Kids Definition of toxic

: containing, being, or caused by poisonous or dangerous material toxic waste toxic effects

toxic

adjective
tox·​ic | \ ˈtäk-sik How to pronounce toxic (audio) \

Medical Definition of toxic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing serious injury or death toxic drugs toxic gas
2 : of, relating to, or caused by a poison or toxin toxic liver damage
3a : affected by a poison or toxin
b : affected with toxemia of pregnancy toxic pregnant women

toxic

noun

Medical Definition of toxic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a toxic substance

Keep scrolling for more

toxic

adjective
tox·​ic | \ ˈtäk-sik How to pronounce toxic (audio) \

Legal Definition of toxic

1 : containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation
2 : having substantially lowered worth specifically : relating to or being an asset that has lost so much value that it cannot be sold on the market toxic assets toxic subprime loans

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on toxic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toxic

Spanish Central: Translation of toxic

Nglish: Translation of toxic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of toxic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on toxic

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

WORD OF THE DAY

having no equal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!