toxin

noun tox·in \ ˈtäk-sən \
Updated on: 8 Dec 2017

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

Examples of toxin in a Sentence

  1. the toxin in scorpion venom

  2. read a pamphlet on the toxin responsible for botulism, a food poisoning that can cause paralysis and even death in some cases

Recent Examples of toxin from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of toxin

International Scientific Vocabulary



TOXIN Defined for English Language Learners

toxin

noun

Definition of toxin for English Language Learners

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


TOXIN Defined for Kids

toxin

noun tox·in \ ˈtäk-sən \

Definition of toxin for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

toxin

noun tox·in \ ˈtäk-sən \

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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