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[pahy-ruh-juh n, -jen]
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  1. a substance, as a thermostable bacterial toxin, that produces a rise in temperature in a human or animal.

Origin of pyrogen

First recorded in 1855–60; pyro- + -gen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pyrogen

Historical Examples

  • Pyrogenet′ic, Pyrog′enous, producing fire: produced by fire; Pyrogen′ic, producing fever.

    Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 3 of 4: N-R)


British Dictionary definitions for pyrogen


  1. any of a group of substances that cause a rise in temperature in an animal body
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for pyrogen


1858, as a proposed word for "electricity," from pyro- + -gen. Meaning "fever-producer" is from 1896. Related: Pyrogenic; pyrogenetic. Greek pyrogenes meant "born in fire, wrought by fire."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pyrogen in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. A substance that produces a fever.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

pyrogen in Science


  1. A polypeptide that produces fever by causing metabolic changes in the hypothalamus. Pyrogens are either exogenous (produced by infectious agents) or endogenous (produced by cells in the body such as macrophages).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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