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



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

Synonyms & Antonyms for toxic

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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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
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Soldier Boy is an embodiment of this very American strain of toxic masculinity. Carrie Wittmer, Men's Health, 20 July 2022 The problem is compounded by a combination of supremacist ideologies and a culture of toxic masculinity. Shannon Watts, CNN, 11 July 2022 It’s about how fathers can pass their trauma, generationally, to their children, especially this toxic masculinity of policing that their boys have to be society’s version of masculine. Jennifer Maas, Variety, 2 July 2022 This includes properly disposing of waste and toxic substances, using efficient means of energy, and finding ways to engage and benefit its local community. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 July 2022 Later on Sunday, a spokesman for Greece’s national fire service, Yiannis Artopios, said that initial tests had not pointed to any toxic substances. New York Times, 17 July 2022 Public-health measures such as these have become politically toxic in the U.S. David Axe, Rolling Stone, 16 July 2022 But, Wolter said in an interview last month in her office in Wauconda, Illinois, Trump has become too toxic to the voters in suburbs for Republicans to win the general election., 1 July 2022 When a young child, older adult, or person with heart or breathing problems is stung more than a dozen times, the venom can become toxic, according to the Mayo Clinic, which can also cause a medical emergency. Eleesha Lockett, SELF, 24 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Their relationship has been fraught and low-key toxic from the beginning, but it's taken time and distance to see that clearly. Ineye Komonibo,, 15 June 2020 Because the whales feed near shore from the base of the food chain, even sucking up sediments and mud, their scat also could provide information about toxics in the environment, Giles said. Lynda Mapes, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Feb. 2020 Same with non-toxic, because the terms don't have concrete, universal definitions. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, 17 Feb. 2020 More: Would Fab Five revival at Michigan turn Michigan State rivalry toxic? Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, 3 Jan. 2020 Pollution, from oily toxics to plastics, spills into coastal waters. Craig Welch, National Geographic, 20 Sep. 2019 Adding certain types of biomass to the soil and covering it in plastic can kill the spores, as the material decomposes and releases gas toxic to bacteria and fungi. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, 17 July 2019 From his initial charm to his subsequent gaslighting, Parker's behavior is textbook toxic. Elena Nicolaou,, 20 June 2019 Joseph has previously tested its drinking water for 2,4-D, the less toxic of the two chemicals. Rob Davis | The Oregonian/oregonlive,, 13 June 2019 See More

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.

First Known Use of toxic


1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1890, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for toxic


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

Learn More About toxic

Dictionary Entries Near toxic

toxemic jaundice



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Statistics for toxic

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Toxic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for toxic


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


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



Medical Definition of toxic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a toxic substance


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

More from Merriam-Webster on toxic

Nglish: Translation of toxic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of toxic for Arabic Speakers


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