[ strik-nin, -neen, -nahyn ]
/ ˈstrɪk nɪn, -nin, -naɪn /
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Pharmacology. a colorless, crystalline poison, C21H22N2O2, obtained chiefly by extraction from the seeds of nux vomica, formerly used as a central nervous system stimulant.
an Indian tree, Strychnos nux-vomica, of the logania family, having small, yellowish-white flowers in clusters, berrylike fruit, and seeds that yield strychnine.



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Also strych·ni·a [strik-nee-uh], /ˈstrɪk ni ə/, strych·ni·na [strik-ni-nuh]. /ˈstrɪk nɪ nə/.

Origin of strychnine

1810–20; <French, equivalent to New Latin Strychn(os) genus name (<Greek strýchnos a kind of nightshade) + French -ine-ine2
strychnic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for strychnine

/ (ˈstrɪkniːn) /


a white crystalline very poisonous alkaloid, obtained from the plant nux vomica: formerly used in small quantities as a stimulant of the central nervous system and the appetite. Formula: C 21 H 22 O 2 N 2
C19: via French from New Latin Strychnos, from Greek strukhnos nightshade
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

Medical definitions for strychnine

[ strĭknīn′, -nĭn, -nēn′ ]


An extremely poisonous white crystalline alkaloid used as a poison for rodents and formerly used topically as a central nervous system stimulant.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for strychnine

[ strĭknīn′ ]

An extremely poisonous, white crystalline compound derived from the seeds of the nux vomica tree. Strychnine is an alkaloid and was formerly used in medicine to stimulate the nervous system. It is currently used as a rat poison. Chemical formula: C21H22O2N2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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