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

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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 Quick biology lesson: Antibodies are the blood proteins the body produces in response to bacteria or, viruses, and other toxins, according to MedlinePlus. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "What Is The Coronavirus Antibody Test?," 9 Apr. 2020 There has been no published research to document how many people have shown symptoms related to the toxins in North Birmingham. al, "Group is angered by little progress made on toxic neighborhood.," 3 Apr. 2020 Geoduck clam divers in Southeast Alaska, for example, pay about $150,000 each year to collect samples that are sent to the single federally approved laboratory in Anchorage and tested for paralytic shellfish poison and other toxins. Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska shellfish farmers and divers object to paying for federally required lab tests," 17 Mar. 2020 The poison is amanitin, which is a particularly nasty cocktail of eight other toxins found in amino acids. Popular Science, "From the death cap to the alcohol inky: seven poisonous mushrooms you definitely don’t want to eat," 11 Mar. 2020 The poison is amanitin, which is a particularly nasty cocktail of eight other toxins found in amino acids. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, "7 Poisonous Mushrooms and What Happens if You Eat Them," 9 Mar. 2020 In a healthy person, tau and other toxins in the brain are cleared away during sleep, sort of like taking out the garbage. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Losing one night's sleep may increase risk factor for Alzheimer's, study says," 9 Jan. 2020 Arami’s Ivory Butter is made with natural, authentic and toxin-free ingredients, to help our skin sparkle throughout the holiday season. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "5 Holiday Beauty Items We're Loving Right Now, And You Will Too," 28 Nov. 2019 This mode of body disposal, on the other hand, is totally toxin-free. Sam Corbin, The New Yorker, "New Plant-Based Alternatives," 14 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for toxin

Time Traveler

The first known use of toxin was in 1886

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Statistics for toxin

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Toxin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/toxin. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for toxin

toxin

noun
How to pronounce toxin (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for toxin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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