tox·​i·​cant | \ ˈtäk-si-kənt How to pronounce toxicant (audio) \

Definition of toxicant

: a toxic agent especially : pesticide

Examples of toxicant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The effects of these toxicants can move through the ecological food chain, much like the long-term harms once posed by DDT. Andrea Michelson, Smithsonian, "The Cannabis Industry Is Not as Green as You’d Think," 26 Nov. 2019 From 2013 to 2015, 11 miles (18 kilometers) of Silver King Creek and three tributaries were treated with a fish toxicant, rotenone, to remove all non-native species. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rare California trout species returns to native habitat," 17 Sep. 2019 At the same time, years of bombardments and neglect have created cracks in landfills that leach decomposing plastic toxicants into the groundwater. Heidi Levine, National Geographic, "Plastics in the Gaza Strip are both a curse and a blessing," 7 Aug. 2019 This shouldn’t be surprising, given the ingredients in hair products, including formaldehyde (known carcinogen), toluene (neurological and developmental toxicant), sodium hydroxide (lye), and triphenyl phosphate (suspected endocrine disruptor). Longreads, "True Roots," 5 June 2019 In fact, these dual-users showed higher levels of nicotine and many of the toxicants, including two heavy metals and some of the carcinogens. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Is vaping better than smoking? Scientists studied pee to find out," 14 Dec. 2018 What are the toxicants in e-cigarettes that aren’t in cigarettes? Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Is vaping better than smoking? Scientists studied pee to find out," 14 Dec. 2018 Little ones are more vulnerable to environmental toxicants; their bodies and brains are developing, and early exposures to harmful substances can have lasting impacts. Julia Belluz, Vox, "The Trump administration’s attack on children’s health protections," 27 Sep. 2018 Since then, the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative that Liou co-founded has spearheaded a California effort to reduce the toxicants that salon workers touch and breathe. Ellen Knickmeyer, Orange County Register, "State push for healthier nail salons meeting with success," 5 Mar. 2017

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

1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for toxicant

Medieval Latin toxicant-, toxicans, present participle of toxicare to poison, from Latin toxicum

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Time Traveler for toxicant

Time Traveler

The first known use of toxicant was in 1879

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Cite this Entry

“Toxicant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for toxicant


tox·​i·​cant | \ ˈtäk-si-kənt How to pronounce toxicant (audio) \

Medical Definition of toxicant

: a toxic agent especially : one for insect control that kills rather than repels

More from Merriam-Webster on toxicant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toxicant

Britannica English: Translation of toxicant for Arabic Speakers

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