[ok-si-toh-suh n]


Biochemistry. a polypeptide hormone, produced by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, that stimulates contraction of the smooth muscle of the uterus.
Pharmacology. a commercial form of this substance, obtained from beef and hog pituitary glands or especially by synthesis, and used chiefly in obstetrics to induce labor and to control postnatal hemorrhage.

Origin of oxytocin

First recorded in 1925–30; oxytoc(ic) + -in2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oxytocin

Contemporary Examples of oxytocin

  • When fathers hold and play with their children, oxytocin and prolactin kick in, priming them for bonding.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How Good Dads Can Change the World

    Gary Barker, PhD, Michael Kaufman

    January 6, 2015

  • I think the most surprising thing to me was the oxytocin story.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Just the Fact: Sex and Music

    Daniel J. Levitin

    August 6, 2009

  • And the people with higher levels of oxytocin were more generous in the amounts they chose to return to the original investor.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How Empathy Can Save the Economy

    Maia Szalavitz

    May 28, 2009

British Dictionary definitions for oxytocin



a polypeptide hormone, secreted by the pituitary gland, that stimulates contractions of the uterus or oviduct and ejection of milk in mammals; alphahypophame: used therapeutically for aiding childbirth. Formula: C 43 H 68 N 12 O 12 S 2Compare vasopressin
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

oxytocin in Medicine




A short polypeptide hormone that is released from the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, stimulates the contraction of smooth muscle of the uterus during labor, and facilitates release of milk from the breast during nursing.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

oxytocin in Science



A polypeptide hormone secreted by the posterior portion of the pituitary gland. Oxytocin stimulates the contraction of smooth muscle of the uterus during childbirth and facilitates ejection of milk from the mammary glands.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.