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
A rating above 5 indicates a potentially harmful level, meaning such blooms could do damage by producing toxins or sucking enough oxygen from the water to cause fish kills.
There are plans to monitor all 112 city parks in the future to make sure the soil stays toxin-free.
A team of researchers has isolated lack of food as the primary factor — bigger than vessel traffic, bigger than toxins — limiting recovery of resident killer whales.
Vodka and gin have fewer toxins and impurities than dark ones like whiskey and rum, says Kovacs.
V. cholerae produces a toxin that rapidly floods the gut with water, leading to massive diarrhea.
While this might sound high-brow (and unnecessarily expensive), Dr. Burke swears that the top-shelf stuff is filtered the most to remove impurities and toxins, which can make your hangover less severe.
The tea has a risk of botulism, a rare but serious illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by a bacterium.
A recent report from the Waksman Institute at Rutgers University claims that a group of scientists have done just that, identifying a new antibiotic from a toxin produced by soil bacteria.
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
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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