Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A colorless, poisonous alkaloid, C10H14N2, derived from the tobacco plant and used as an insecticide. It is the substance in tobacco to which smokers can become addicted.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An alkaloid (C10H14N2), commonly occurring in the tobacco plant. In small doses it is a habit-forming stimulant; in larger doses it is toxic and is often used in insecticides.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An alkaloid which is the active principle of tobacco (C10H14N2). It occurs in tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum and Nicotiana rusticum) to the extent of 2 to 8%, in combination with malic acid or citric acid. It is a colorless, transparent, oily liquid, having an acrid odor, and an acrid burning taste. It is intensely poisonous. The apparently addictive effects of tobacco smoking have been ascribed largely to the effect of nicotine, and the controlled administration of nicotine on various forms has been used as a technique for assisting efforts to stop the smoking habit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A volatile alkaloid base (C10H14N2) obtained from tobacco.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an alkaloid poison that occurs in tobacco; used in medicine and as an insecticide

Etymologies

French, from New Latin nicotiāna; see nicotiana.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowing from French nicotine, named after Jean Nicot, French ambassador to Portugal, who sent tobacco seeds back to France in 1561. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The vast majority of smokers start in childhood and then find it very difficult to quit because nicotine is addictive.

    Matthew Yglesias » Permanent Income Hypothesis

  • They weren't based on hard science connecting health hazards to long-term nicotine addiction, but were set to mirror the length of use in clinical trials.

    Chew On This: Sticking With Nicotine Gum for the Long Haul

  • I've heard it said that nicotine is more addictive than any other drug, including heroin.

    Obama signs anti-tobacco bill

  • "That is an indication that nicotine is a critical component of tobacco smoke and that it is the desire to obtain nicotine that is an important drive of smoking behaviour."

    Study: Monkeys Becoming Increasingly Hooked on Nicotine | Impact Lab

  • You people seem to use the same argument that the tobacco corporations used against the scientific theory that nicotine is addictive and smoking causes cancer.

    Sound Politics: Scenes from Wallingford

  • While nicotine is highly addictive, researchers have also shown the drug to enhance learning and memory -- a property that has launched efforts to develop nicotine-like drugs to treat cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, schizophrenia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Books do furnish a room.

  • Medicines or products that help you get over a physical addiction to nicotine are called nicotine replacement therapies NRT.

    The 10 Best Questions™ for Recovering from a Heart Attack

  • New genotyping research from the Center for Addiction and Mental Health found that the enzyme known to metabolize both the smoking cessation drug bupropion and nicotine is highly genetically variable in all ethnicities and influences smoking cessation.

    September 17th, 2007

  • Reesearch findings conclude that alcoholics in early recovery tend to have impaired cognitive functioning, and nicotine is known to have beneficial effects under certain circumstances.

    November 26th, 2007

  • LIMBAUGH: “It has not been proven that nicotine is addictive, the same with cigarettes causing emphysema [and other diseases].”

    Think Progress » Rush Limbaugh attacks a listener

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