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[mass noun] A highly toxic protein obtained from the pressed seeds of the castor oil plant.
- ‘Studies have been performed on ricin as a possible anticancer agent.’
- ‘Inside the flat, police found traces of ricin, castor oil beans and equipment for crushing the beans.’
- ‘Signs and symptoms of ricin poisoning depend on whether a person inhales or ingests ricin.’
- ‘There was a previous radiation study of ricin, a dimeric molecule linked by a single disulfide bridge.’
- ‘Because castor beans are readily available, public health officials warn that ricin could be used for terrorism.’
Late 19th century: from modern Latin Ricinus communis (denoting the castor oil plant) + -in.
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