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

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 Nightshades contain a toxin called solanine, says sciencedirect.com. Evan Hecht, USA TODAY, 17 July 2022 Nitrogen oxides are gases that can both directly and indirectly destroy crops through several mechanisms, including by contributing to the formation of ozone, a toxin that blocks plant growth. Madeline Halpert, Forbes, 1 June 2022 Cora's underwear checks all those boxes, plus they're made with planet-safe, toxin-free fabric. Halie Lesavage, Harper's BAZAAR, 26 May 2022 There is also some evidence from mouse studies that adenoviruses can interact with that bacterial toxin to trigger an overactive immune response that damages the liver. Denise Roland, WSJ, 20 May 2022 Why else would there be a syringe with that toxin in it? CBS News, 12 Feb. 2022 The blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, can produce a toxin called microcystin that is harmful to animals and pets. Peter Krouse, cleveland, 30 June 2022 But Police Minister Bheki Cele said forensic samples taken from the victims were being sent to a toxicology laboratory in Cape Town, indicating that police were investigating whether the victims had ingested a poison or toxin. Gerald Imray, ajc, 27 June 2022 Police have sent forensic samples from the victims to a toxicology laboratory to investigate if the teens ingested poison or a toxin at the party. Gerald Imray, Anchorage Daily News, 27 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of toxin

1886, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for toxin

International Scientific Vocabulary

Learn More About toxin

Dictionary Entries Near toxin

Toxiglossa

toxin

toxitabellae

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Statistics for toxin

Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Toxin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/toxin. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for toxin

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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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