9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[tok-sik] /ˈtɒk sɪk/
of, pertaining to, affected with, or caused by a toxin or poison:
a toxic condition.
acting as or having the effect of a poison; poisonous:
a toxic drug.
pertaining to or noting debt that will probably not be repaid:
toxic mortgages.
pertaining to or noting a financial instrument or other asset that has no value or an unknown value because there is no market for it:
toxic mortgage-backed securities.
a toxic chemical or other substance.
Origin of toxic
1655-65; < Late Latin toxicus poisonous, adj. derivative of Latin toxicum poison < Greek toxikón (orig. short for toxikòn phármakon literally, bow poison, i.e., poison used on arrows), equivalent to tóx(on) bow + -ikon, neuter of -ikos -ic
Related forms
toxically, adverb
hypertoxic, adjective
nontoxic, adjective
nontoxically, adverb
posttoxic, adjective
untoxic, adjective
untoxically, adverb
Can be confused
toxic, toxin. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for toxic
  • Non-toxic, non-lethal and non-harmful is the new motto.
  • Green chemistry focuses on eliminating the use of toxic chemicals in chemistry without stifling scientific progress.
  • Gymnodinium breve leaves toxic residues in shellfish.
  • Where toxic pollution and human habitation collide with devastating effects.
  • Following is a lists of indoor plants known to be toxic to dogs.
  • There should be regulations protecting people from toxic bosses.
  • Linalool is toxic to some types of insects, though it isn't known to have any repellent qualities.
  • Common garden pesticides that are highly toxic to bees include both organic and conventional chemical controls.
  • Scientists have begun to use the tools of biotechnology to create microorganisms that decompose toxic wastes.
  • Small, preliminary trials of this sort are intended to find out whether a drug is toxic.
British Dictionary definitions for toxic


of, relating to, or caused by a toxin or poison; poisonous
harmful or deadly
(of a financial asset) likely to cause significant loss to the holder
Derived Forms
toxically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from medical Latin toxicus, from Latin toxicum poison, from Greek toxikon (pharmakon) (poison) used on arrows, from toxon arrow
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 toxic

1660s, from French toxique, from Late Latin toxicus "poisoned," from Latin toxicum "poison," from Greek toxikon (pharmakon) "(poison) for use on arrows," from toxikon, neuter of toxikos "pertaining to arrows or archery," and thus to a bow, from toxon "bow," probably from a Scythian word that also was borrowed into Latin as taxus "yew."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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toxic in Medicine

toxic tox·ic (tŏk'sĭk)

  1. Of, relating to, or caused by a toxin or other poison.

  2. Capable of causing injury or death, especially by chemical means; poisonous.

A toxic chemical or other substance.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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toxic in Science
  1. Relating to or caused by a toxin.

  2. Capable of causing injury or death, especially by chemical means; poisonous.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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