tox·​i·​col·​o·​gy | \ ˌtäk-si-ˈkä-lə-jē How to pronounce toxicology (audio) \

Definition of toxicology

: a science that deals with poisons and their effect and with the problems involved (such as clinical, industrial, or legal problems)

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Other Words from toxicology

toxicologist \ ˌtäk-​si-​ˈkä-​lə-​jist How to pronounce toxicologist (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Even though most of us are aware of toxicology primarily from crime shows on TV, toxicologists actually do most of their work in other fields. Many are employed by drug companies, others by chemical companies. Many work for the government, making sure the public is being kept safe from environmental poisons in the water, soil, and air, as well as unhealthy substances in our food and drugs. These issues often have to do with quantity; questions about how much of some substance should be considered dangerous, whether in the air or in a soft drink, may be left to toxicologists. But occasionally a toxicology task may be more exciting: for instance, discovering that what looked like an ordinary heart attack was actually brought on by a hypodermic injection of a paralyzing muscle relaxant.

Examples of toxicology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The coroner's office will conduct an autopsy and toxicology testing on Niepokoj, whose cause of death has yet to be determined, the release said. Michelle L. Quinn, Post-Tribune, "Porter man found dead at rail crossing," 1 July 2018 The chief medical examiner, Dr. Jan Gorniak, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that toxicology testing found marijuana in Cunningham’s system, but there were no other significant findings. Steve Helling,, "CDC Doctor Who Vanished for Months Before Being Found in a River Killed Himself by Drowning," 22 May 2018 Evans said Wednesday Turner's autopsy is complete, but the cause of death has not yet been determined pending toxicology testing. Carol Robinson,, "Drug 'flakka' may have killed Alabama prison inmate, sickened 9 others," 28 Feb. 2018 Goetz asked about the toxicology testing performed by the coroner's office. Carlie Kollath Wells,, "Man killed in 7th Ward shooting, New Orleans police say," 26 Jan. 2018 The cause of death will be determined following autopsy and toxicology test, as reports. Kristi Turnquist,, "Report: 'Deadliest Catch' veteran, 38, found dead in his Oregon home," 29 May 2018 Omalu did not release toxicology findings during his March 30 presentation. Nashelly Chavez, sacbee, "What you need to know about the Stephon Clark shooting in Sacramento | The Sacramento Bee," 1 May 2018 Sheriff's detectives conducted an investigation that included requesting medical records and toxicology from blood drawn following the accident. Carol Robinson,, "3 indicted for unrelated killings in 2016, 2017," 5 Mar. 2018 Over that period, 188 people were killed by law enforcement and toxicology tests were performed in 173 of those cases. Alexis Stevens, The Seattle Times, "Georgia tallies meth’s toll: Nearly 20 percent of those killed by police in state test positive for it," 20 Nov. 2018

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

circa 1799, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for toxicology

The first known use of toxicology was circa 1799

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English Language Learners Definition of toxicology

technical : the study of poisonous chemicals, drugs, etc., and how a person or other living thing reacts to them


tox·​i·​col·​o·​gy | \ -ˈkäl-ə-jē How to pronounce toxicology (audio) \
plural toxicologies

Medical Definition of toxicology

: the scientific study of the adverse effects of chemical substances on the living organism

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with toxicology

Nglish: Translation of toxicology for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about toxicology

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