• synonyms


noun Pharmacology.
  1. a white, crystalline, bitter, poisonous, central nervous system stimulant, C30H34O13, obtained from the seeds of Anamirta cocculus: used chiefly in the treatment of barbiturate poisoning.
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Origin of picrotoxin

1865–70; < Greek pikr(ós) bitter + -o- + toxin
Related formspic·ro·tox·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for picrotoxin

Historical Examples

  • Picrotoxin (C30H24O13) is not an alkaloid as may be seen from its formula.

    The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

    T. H. Pardo de Tavera

  • For the reaction to succeed, the picrotoxin should be tolerably pure.

  • It would take up any picrotoxin or aloes if present, and thereby acquire a strongly bitter taste.

  • It contains an active principle, cicutoxin, which in some respects is allied to strychnine and picrotoxin.

  • Contains a poisonous active principle, picrotoxin; used to adulterate beer, and by poachers to stupefy fish.

British Dictionary definitions for picrotoxin


  1. a bitter poisonous crystalline compound formerly used as an antidote for barbiturate poisoning. Formula: C 30 H 34 O 13
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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

picrotoxin in Medicine


  1. A bitter crystalline compound derived from the seed of an East Indian woody vine and used as a stimulant, especially in treating barbiturate poisoning.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.