toxin

noun
tox·​in | \ ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce toxin (audio) \

Definition of toxin

: a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usually very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues, and typically capable of inducing antibody formation

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Synonyms for toxin

Synonyms

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Toxins Are Often Found in Nature

Long before chemists started creating poisons from scratch, humans were employing natural toxins for killing weeds and insects. For centuries South American tribes have used the toxin curare, extracted from a native vine, to tip their arrows. The garden flower called wolfsbane or monkshood is the source of aconite, an extremely potent toxin. The common flower known as jimsonweed contains the deadly poison scopolamine. And the castor-oil plant yields the almost unbelievably poisonous toxin called ricin. Today we hear health advisers of all kinds talk about ridding the body of toxins; but they're usually pretty vague about which ones they mean, and most of these "toxins" wouldn't be called that by biologists.

Examples of toxin in a Sentence

the toxin in scorpion venom read a pamphlet on the toxin responsible for botulism, a food poisoning that can cause paralysis and even death in some cases
Recent Examples on the Web They are said to clear the body of toxins, though there’s no scientific evidence to support the claim. Fran Smith, National Geographic, "Why our fast-paced society loves yoga," 17 Dec. 2019 Some of those toxins accumulate up the food chain and can cause health problems for people who eat too many contaminated fish. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "Are Alabama fish safe to eat? Here’s how the state decides," 2 Dec. 2019 Boiling, filtering or treating water with camping filters doesn’t remove toxins. oregonlive.com, "Health advisory issued for Odell Lake near Willamette Pass," 2 Aug. 2019 And compression therapy is said to reduce inflammation and fluid collection, help remove toxins such as lactic acid, improve blood circulation, prevent and eliminate varicose veins, and strengthen loose skin caused by pregnancy or obesity. Tyra Mcclung, courant.com, "Afloat In Avon: Wellness Therapy Promotes Relaxation, Relieves Sports Injuries," 2 July 2019 Float Therapy uses baths filled with water and tons of epsom salt, which is intended to deeply nourish and to remove toxins. Sheila Cosgrove Baylis, PEOPLE.com, "We Tried It: A Dry Flotation Treatment That's More Relaxing Than a Massage," 12 June 2019 As for claims that dry brushing can treat cellulite or remove toxins from the body? Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "What is Dry Brushing?," 8 May 2019 In a medical context, detoxing means removing toxins—poisons—from the body. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Can Any Skin-Care Products Actually 'Detox' Your Face?," 3 May 2019 This mask is made with a blend of charcoal, volcanic ash, and kaolin and bentonite clays to remove impurities, exfoliate, absorb excess oils, remove toxins, and reduce inflammation. Tanisha Pina, Allure, "This K-Beauty Brand Just Launched at Walmart and Products Are Already Selling Out," 1 Aug. 2018

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

1886, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for toxin

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for toxin

Time Traveler

The first known use of toxin was in 1886

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Statistics for toxin

Last Updated

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Toxin.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/toxin. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for toxin

toxin

noun
How to pronounce toxin (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of toxin

: a poisonous substance and especially one that is produced by a living thing

toxin

noun
tox·​in | \ ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce toxin (audio) \

Kids Definition of toxin

: a poison produced by a living thing (as an animal or bacterium)

toxin

noun
tox·​in | \ ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce toxin (audio) \

Medical Definition of toxin

: a colloidal proteinaceous poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usually very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues, and typically capable of inducing antibody formation

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More from Merriam-Webster on toxin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toxin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with toxin

Spanish Central: Translation of toxin

Nglish: Translation of toxin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of toxin for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about toxin

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