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[oo-roo-shee-awl, -ol] /ʊˈru ʃiˌɔl, -ˌɒl/
a toxic, liquid, catechol derivative, the active irritant principle in several species of the plant genus Rhus, as in poison ivy.
Origin of urushiol
1910-15; < Japanese urushi lacquer + -ol Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for urushiol
  • The cause is an oil called urushiol that occurs both on the leaves and stems and adheres to the skin.
  • Breaking the blisters releases urushiol oil that can spread.
  • Every part of the plant contains an oil called urushiol that inflames skin and results in painfully itchy blisters and rashes.
  • All parts of the plant contain a toxic resin called urushiol that causes skin and mucous membrane irritation.
  • Blister fluid doesn't contain urushiol and won't spread the rash.
  • The oil, urushiol, causes painful rashes and blistering of the skin.
  • The oil in the plant, urushiol, is the cause of the problem.
  • urushiol oil contained in the plant can cause a rash on skin.
British Dictionary definitions for urushiol


/ˈuːrʊʃɪˌɒl; uːˈruː-/
a poisonous pale yellow liquid occurring in poison ivy and the lacquer tree
Word Origin
from Japanese urushi lacquer + -ol²
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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urushiol in Medicine

urushiol u·ru·shi·ol (u-rōō'shē-ôl', -ōl')
A toxic substance constituting the active allergen of the irritant oil present in poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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urushiol in Science
  (-r'shē-ôl', -ōl')   
A toxic substance present in the resin or on the surface of plants of the genus Rhus (syn. Toxicodendron). Urushiol is a mixture of several derivatives of catechol and is the irritating substance in poison ivy.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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