any of a class of foul-smelling nitrogenous substances produced by bacteria during putrefaction of animal or plant protein: formerly thought to be toxic.
- pto·main·ic, adjective
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How to use ptomaine in a sentence
Frequently ptomaine poisoning occurs in the summer time because of the rapid growth of bacteria.A Civic Biology | George William Hunter
Left alone, Warble proceeded systematically to examine the interior of ptomaine Haul.
He kissed her in his eccentric fashion, and with her plump arms about his neck, she forgot all about ptomaine Street.
Why couldn't the silly thing have had a decent bit of ptomaine poisoning instead of this foolish earache.
Still I think he has made a bad exchange, for Mrs. ptomaine wont last.The Celebrity at Home | Violet Hunt
British Dictionary definitions for ptomaine
any of a group of amines, such as cadaverine or putrescine, formed by decaying organic matter
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
Scientific definitions for ptomaine
Any of various toxic nitrogenous organic compounds produced by bacterial decomposition of protein, especially in dead animal tissue. Ptomaines are bases and are formed by removing the carboxyl group (COOH) from amino acids. They do not cause food poisoning, as was previously thought, but the term ptomaine poisoning is still used to describe food poisoning caused by bacteria.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.