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 When exposed to sunlight, anemones modify oxybenzone within their cells by attaching glucose to it, which turns it into a toxin. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 May 2022 Lead is a potent toxin that can damage the cardiovascular and reproductive systems and is particularly harmful to children, causing lower IQ and behavioral problems. John Flesher, Detroit Free Press, 19 Feb. 2022 When in fact, the key to solving Alzheimer’s is in a toxin that forms during earlier stages. Diana Tsai, Forbes, 30 Oct. 2021 Overnight, the milky venom dries on the glass, turning into flaky crystals, leaving behind only the 5-MeO-DMT and none of the lethal toxin. Alex Kuczynski, Town & Country, 20 Jan. 2022 The venom also included a toxin, metalloproteinase, that can destroy red blood cells. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 Lab tests are also underway to determine if a chemical or toxin might be the cause. Maria Cheng, ajc, 19 Apr. 2022 Ohio was the sixth-highest toxin-emitting state in 2020, with 90.5 million pounds of total toxic releases. Zachary Smith, cleveland, 19 Apr. 2022 There are a number of possible causes of PAH, ranging from high altitude to congenital heart defects to drug or toxin exposure to connective tissue disorders to infections with HIV or schistosomiasis. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 18 Apr. 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

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Toxin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/toxin. Accessed 23 May. 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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