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ptomaine Syllabification: pto·maine
Pronunciation: /tōˈmān/

Definition of ptomaine in English:


Chemistry , dated
Any of a group of amine compounds of unpleasant taste and odor formed in putrefying animal and vegetable matter and formerly thought to cause food poisoning.
Example sentences
  • Being in town, I warily went along to the Colorado Ballet's production of The Nutcracker, a ballet I normally prefer only slightly to ptomaine poisoning.
  • The Mayor and Mayoress of Doncaster had been suffering from ptomaine poisoning, caused by eating pigeon pie provided for their guests at an entertainment at the Mansion House.
  • According to the old Eclectic doctors it proved to be universally successful in the treatment of every case of ptomaine poisoning.


Late 19th century: from French ptomaïne, from Italian ptomaina, formed irregularly from Greek ptōma 'corpse'.

Definition of ptomaine in:
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