- any poison produced by an organism, characterized by antigenicity in certain animals and high molecular weight, and including the bacterial toxins that are the causative agents of tetanus, diphtheria, etc., and such plant and animal toxins as ricin and snake venom.
Origin of toxin
SynonymsSee more synonyms for toxin on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for toxin
In this understanding, art is like a medicine or a toxin, transforming its audience for good or ill.The Insane Swedish Plan to Rate Games for Sexism
November 20, 2014
It presumes “that art is an instrument like medicine or a toxin that can be injected into us and transform us.”16 and Abstinent?
January 18, 2014
We should embrace the notion that low levels of exposure to any toxin over an extended period can lead to serious health issues.Wheat Threatens All Humans, New Research Shows
David Perlmutter, MD
December 10, 2013
Red wine is the second worst from a toxin perspective, sadly.Five Ways to Recover Faster From Your Thanksgiving Binge
November 28, 2013
And the toxin, which sits in the synapses between neurons, can take weeks to wash out.The Deadliest Botox Has Arrived
October 18, 2013
The determining test for a toxin is its action on a living cell.The Fundamentals of Bacteriology
Charles Bradfield Morrey
Probably it was the toxin in the blood which poisoned the heart.Aaron's Rod
D. H. Lawrence
Now I have said enough about the toxin and some little about the anti-toxin of the Mind.Nuggets of the New Thought
William Walker Atkinson,
"This bottle contains a weak solution of the toxin of fatigue," persisted Kennedy.The Social Gangster
Arthur B. Reeve
When this vital seat is poisoned by the toxin, death is instantaneous.More Hunting Wasps
J. Henri Fabre
Word Origin and History for toxin
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A poisonous substance, especially a protein, that is produced by living cells or organisms and is capable of causing disease when introduced into the body tissues but is often also capable of inducing neutralizing antibodies or antitoxins.
- A poisonous substance, especially one produced by a living organism. Toxins can be products or byproducts of ordinary metabolism, such as lactic acid, and they must be broken down or excreted before building up to dangerous levels. Toxins can facilitate survival, as with snake venom that kills or immobilizes prey, or cyanide produced by some plants as a defense against being eaten. Bacterial toxins can sometimes be neutralized with antitoxins. Compare antitoxin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.