Borrowed from French toxique, from Late Latin toxicus (“poisoned”), from Latin toxicum (“poison”), from Ancient Greek τοξικόν (toxikón) [φάρμακον (phármakon)] ("poison for use on arrows"), from τοξικός (toxikós, “pertaining to arrows or archery”), from τόξον (tóxon, “bow”).
- (toxicology, pharmacology) Having a chemical nature that is harmful to health or lethal if consumed or otherwise entering into the body in sufficient quantities.
- 2019 December 8, Hannah Beech; Ryn Jirenuwat, “The Price of Recycling Old Laptops: Toxic Fumes in Thailand’s Lungs”, in New York Times:
- If some types of electronic waste aren’t incinerated at a high enough temperature, dioxins, which can cause cancer and developmental problems, infiltrate the food supply. Without proper safeguarding, toxic heavy metals seep into the soil and groundwater.
- (medicine) Appearing grossly unwell; characterised by serious, potentially life-threatening compromise in the respiratory, circulatory or other body systems.
- The child appeared toxic on arrival at the hospital.
- (figuratively) Severely negative or harmful.
- a toxic environment that promoted bullying
- (figuratively, of a person) Hateful or strongly antipathetic.
- It is not good to be around toxic people.
- 2020 April 23, Cal Newport, “'Expert Twitter' Only Goes So Far. Bring Back Blogs”, in Wired:
- Though Twitter is still overrun with toxic anger and fear-based nonsense (now more than ever), it is also, in one crucial way, beginning to play an important role in our response to the pandemic.
- toxic in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- Douglas Harper (2001–2021) , “toxic”, in Online Etymology Dictionary
- toxic (chemically noxious to health)