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)

Other Words from toxicology

toxicologist \ ˌtäk-​si-​ˈkä-​lə-​jist How to pronounce toxicology (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 Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was intoxicated when a dump truck hit and killed him on a Florida interstate earlier this year, according to a toxicology report released Monday by the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, 23 May 2022 The rapper died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol, according to the toxicology report released by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office. Bill Donahue, Billboard, 16 May 2022 The toxicology report accompanying Campbell’s autopsy found methamphetamine and amphetamine in his system. Jennifer Peebles, ajc, 13 May 2022 An autopsy remains ongoing after the bodies were discovered Friday, with findings from a toxicology report expected to be available next week, according to Paul Rolle, chief superintendent at the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Greg Norman, Fox News, 10 May 2022 The official cause of deaths for the teens are awaiting results from a toxicology report by the Medical Examiner’s Office. Washington Post, 1 May 2022 The toxicology report is still pending, police said. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, 20 Apr. 2022 Results of the toxicology report are still pending, and investigators are hopeful that information will shed more light on the cause of death. NBC News, 20 Apr. 2022 No cause of death is confirmed at this time and results of the toxicology report are still pending, the press release stated. Stephanie Wenger,, 19 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of toxicology

circa 1799, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of toxicology was circa 1799

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Last Updated

25 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Toxicology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for toxicology


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

More from Merriam-Webster on toxicology

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


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