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

bane, poison, toxic, venom

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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

But research shows that carrying even small amounts of the toxin in their tissue may compromise health. Laura Newberry, latimes.com, "The U.S. wants to dump 1.5 tons of rat poison on the Farallon Islands. Biologists say it’s for the best," 7 July 2019 People can be sickened from the toxins in the water or in tainted shellfish. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "Red tides, explained," 5 July 2019 Vancouver Lake has been downgraded to only caution level for low levels of toxins in the water. oregonlive.com, "Public health alert for Vancouver Lake downgraded in time for July 4th," 3 July 2019 The founder of the institute has bucked medical consensus with the claim that autism is caused by toxins in the environment and can be cured with changes to diet and supplemental nutrition. NBC News, "Fake science led a mom to feed bleach to her autistic sons — and police did nothing to stop her," 14 June 2019 Watras discovered that accumulations of the toxin in fish fluctuate as water cycles driven by climate change raise and lower lake levels. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin has cut mercury pollution of its lakes. Climate change puts those gains at risk.," 14 June 2019 Now 32, Penn has since led numerous scientific sailing expeditions around the world that have conducted research on things like ocean acidification and toxins in the water. Kamakshi Ayyar, Time, "Meet the Woman Sailing Around the World to Raise Awareness About Plastic Pollution," 8 June 2019 New this year is a partnership with Wellness Within Your Walls, an education and advocacy organization which supports reducing toxins in interior environments. House Beautiful, "The 2019 Whole Home Is Coming To Nashville," 30 Jan. 2019 Shellfishing is banned until further notice in more than a dozen cities and towns along parts of the Massachusetts coast after a potentially deadly toxin was found in a variety of shellfish, state officials announced this week. Maddie Kilgannon, BostonGlobe.com, "Red tide halts shellfish harvesting off parts of Mass. coast," 21 June 2019

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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Statistics for toxin

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for toxin

The first known use of toxin was in 1886

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More Definitions for toxin

toxin

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with toxin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on toxin

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