[toh-meyn, toh-meyn]
any of a class of foul-smelling nitrogenous substances produced by bacteria during putrefaction of animal or plant protein: formerly thought to be toxic.

1875–80; < Italian ptomaina < Greek ptôma corpse + Italian -ina -ine2

ptomainic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ptomaine or ptomain (ˈtəʊmeɪn)
any of a group of amines, such as cadaverine or putrescine, formed by decaying organic matter
[C19: from Italian ptomaina, from Greek ptoma corpse, from piptein to fall]
ptomain or ptomain
[C19: from Italian ptomaina, from Greek ptoma corpse, from piptein to fall]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1880, from It. ptomaina, coined by Selmi 1878 from Gk. ptoma "corpse," lit. "a falling, fallen thing," from piptein "to fall," from PIE base *pet- (see petition). Notion is of poison produced in decaying matter. Incorrectly formed; proper Gk. would be *ptomatine.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

ptomaine pto·maine (tō'mān', tō-mān')
A basic nitrogenous organic compound produced by bacterial putrefaction of protein.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
ptomaine   (tō'mān')  Pronunciation Key 
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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Is seriously ill at his home with ptomaine poisoning.
It is believed by many that the poisoning is ptomaine poisoning, which.
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