noun[mass noun] Biochemistry
An oily liquid which is the main constituent of Japanese lacquer and is responsible for the irritant properties of poison ivy and other plants. It consists of a mixture of catechol derivatives.
- All parts of the poison ivy plant produce the oily irritating agent, urushiol.
- Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac all contain the same allergic irritant: urushiol.
- Unfortunately, the study also found that carbon dioxide-enhanced poison ivy boasts a stronger strain of urushiol, which may prove even more poisonous to humans.
Early 20th century: from Japanese urushi 'Japanese lacquer' + -ol.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: uru¦shiol
Definition of urushiol in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.