Definition of ouabain in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈuːəbeɪn/


[mass noun] Chemistry
A toxic compound obtained from certain trees, used as a very rapid cardiac stimulant. It is a polycyclic glycoside.
Example sentences
  • It would have been preferable to discard this possibility by more complete blockade of active sodium transport (with the use of a sodium channel blocker in addition to ouabain, instead of ouabain alone).
  • We treated rat lungs with amiloride and ouabain, respectively.
  • An unexpected result is that ouabain and amiloride, which do not react directly with cytochrome c oxidase, modify significantly the absorption of the photoacceptor (mirrored by the action spectrum in our case).


Late 19th century: via French from Somali wabayo, denoting a tree that yields poison (used on arrow points) containing ouabain.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: oua|bain

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.