Definition of Taxol in US English:


(also taxol)


  • A compound, originally obtained from the bark of the Pacific yew tree, which has been found to inhibit the growth of certain cancers.

    • ‘Herbal medicine has contributed aspirin from willow bark, reserpine from snakeroot, taxol from the yew tree, but ‘natural’ is not automatically safe.’
    • ‘For example, supplies of taxol, another anti-tumor compound, were seriously limited until a synthetic method was developed.’
    • ‘Past bioprospected compounds that received FDA approval include taxol, topotecan, vinblastine, vincristine, and irinocetan.’
    • ‘Heralded as a breakthrough treatment for breast and ovarian cancer, taxol is found in the bark of the Pacific yew tree.’
    • ‘In this century these compounds have provided the basis of many common drugs including aspirin which comes from willow bark, and taxol, an ovarian cancer treatment, derived from the pacific yew.’


1970s: from Latin taxus ‘yew’ + -ol.