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[nik-uh-teen, -tin, nik-uh-teen] /ˈnɪk əˌtin, -tɪn, ˌnɪk əˈtin/
noun, Chemistry
a colorless, oily, water-soluble, highly toxic, liquid alkaloid, C 1 0 H 1 4 N 2 , found in tobacco and valued as an insecticide.
Origin of nicotine
1810-20; < French; see nicotiana, -ine2
Related forms
nicotined, adjective
nicotineless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nicotine
  • But in an age before nicotine patches and gums to aid in kicking the habit, one's options to stop smoking were somewhat limited.
  • At the same time there is a dazzling light show and non-nicotine smoke gushing from ceiling vents.
  • nicotine alone, however, is hardly a reason to worry.
  • Of course, those who find relief from stress through cigarettes are feeling the effect of nicotine.
  • They receive the same amount of nicotine as from cigarettes and are at equal risk of addiction.
  • nicotine is not exactly the same chemically as acetylcholine, but can mimic its effects.
  • All that sugar, caffeine, and nicotine pulsing through his body-plus a second latte and a large fruit smoothie.
  • In particular, nicotine is a highly flexible molecule.
  • The company plans to try a similar approach for nicotine addiction.
  • Schizophrenics, it has recently been found, are likely to be heavy smokers because nicotine is good for their condition.
British Dictionary definitions for nicotine


a colourless oily acrid toxic liquid that turns yellowish-brown in air and light: the principal alkaloid in tobacco, used as an agricultural insecticide. Formula: C10H14N2
Derived Forms
nicotined, adjective
nicotinic (ˌnɪkəˈtɪnɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from French, from New Latin herba nicotiana Nicot's plant, named after J. Nicot (1530–1600), French diplomat who introduced tobacco into France
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
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Word Origin and History for nicotine

poisonous alkaloid found in tobacco leaves, 1819, from French nicotine, earlier nicotiane, from Modern Latin Nicotiana, formal botanical name for the tobacco plant, named for Jean Nicot (c.1530-1600), French ambassador to Portugal, who sent tobacco seeds and powdered leaves back to France 1561. His name is a diminutive of Nicolas.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nicotine in Medicine

nicotine nic·o·tine (nĭk'ə-tēn')
A colorless, poisonous alkaloid derived from the tobacco plant and used as an insecticide. It is the substance in tobacco to which smokers can become addicted.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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nicotine in Science
A colorless, poisonous compound occurring naturally in the tobacco plant. It is used in medicine and as an insecticide, and it is the substance in tobacco products to which smokers can become addicted. Nicotine is an alkaloid. Chemical formula: C10H14N2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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nicotine in Culture
nicotine [(nik-uh-teen)]

A poisonous chemical substance found in the tobacco plant.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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