Definition of oxytocin in English:



mass nounBiochemistry
  • A hormone released by the pituitary gland that causes increased contraction of the uterus during labour and stimulates the ejection of milk into the ducts of the breasts.

    • ‘But oxytocin is also the hormone of affiliation.’
    • ‘The plan was to use a gradually increasing concentration of oxytocin in order to stimulate uterine contractions.’
    • ‘Suckling causes the mother's pituitary gland to release two hormones, oxytocin and prolactin.’
    • ‘There, hormones called prolactin and oxytocin are released into the bloodstream.’
    • ‘Another chemical, the hormone oxytocin, is associated with both sexual activity and maternal bonding in humans.’


1920s: from Greek oxutokia ‘sudden delivery’ (from oxus ‘sharp’ + tokos ‘childbirth’) + -in.