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
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 of toxin from the Web
For some days later, organ damage as the death caps' potent toxins ravaged the liver.
The agency is also seeking to delay oral arguments in two cases challenging its 2012 standard for air toxins from power plants as well as its 2015 smog rule.
For more than a decade, several hundred retirees from the hulking Peterborough plant, which produced engines for trains and ships among other things, have claimed illnesses linked to exposure to toxins inside the factory.
Chronic sleep deprivation in mice causes microglia — brain cells that get rid of toxins and clear debris — to eat small pieces of the synapses, the connections that allow neurons to communicate with each other, the study found.
These thick clouds of algae release a toxin called domoic acid, which accumulates in small fish like sardines and anchovies and then moves up the marine food chain.
Domoic acid is a naturally occurring toxin in algae.
Samples of nacho cheese sauce taken from the Gehl Foods facility in Wisconsin tested negative for the botulism toxin, according to the statement.
But venom in arthropods evolved in multiple ancestors, from different genetic pathways that converged on similar chemical toxins.
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.
Did You Know?
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
First Known Use: 1886See Words from the same year
TOXIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of toxin for English Language Learners
: a poisonous substance and especially one that is produced by a living thing
TOXIN Defined for Kids
Definition of toxin for Students
: a poison produced by a living thing (as an animal or bacterium)
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
Seen and Heard
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