General Question

cadetjoecool's avatar

What's a word that means toxic, but in a good way?

Asked by cadetjoecool (218points) February 4th, 2012 from iPhone

I don’t mean toxic as in the deadly sense of the word, but in the overwhelming, unstoppable sense; and in a positive way.

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29 Answers

filmfann's avatar


gailcalled's avatar

Toxic, by definition, means either literally or figuratively poisonous.

There’s no way that I can think of to put a positive spin on it.

From my online dictionary:

“The financial sense of toxic describes debts that are unlikely to be repaid and assets suddenly found to be worthless.Toxic has been used metaphorically to describe something very bad or harmful since the late 20th century ( the scandal could be politically toxic), and the specific financial sense is first recorded around 1990. Before that, though, risky stocks and bonds were referred to as toxic waste —they are dangerous to (financial) health and very difficult to dispose of.”

Bellatrix's avatar

I agree @gailcalled.

@cadetjoecool, I think you need to find another word altogether.

auhsojsa's avatar

Toxic doesn’t really relate to “but in the overwhelming, unstoppable sense; and in a positive way.”

Dominant works though :D.

zenvelo's avatar

You’re looking for inevitable, but that’s not toxic. Toxic doesn’t mean that.

gailcalled's avatar

@auhsojsa How? Toxic is an adjective and dominate is a verb. They have very little to do with one another.

augustlan's avatar

Inevitable, all-consuming, unstoppable, a force to be reckoned with, encompassing. None of them are related to ‘toxic’, though.

Buttonstc's avatar

I clicked on this Q out of curiosity just to see if there were an answer to it since I couldn’t imagine that one existed. Ha ha.

Turns out I was right.


But upon reflecting further, I’m wondering if the word “pervasive” might be the best choice for what you’re trying to convey.

Many of it’s uses carry a rather negative connotation, but one could also have pervasive optimism (but thats not necessarily the first descriptor I’d use regarding optimism)

Hope that helps.

gailcalled's avatar

There is the pervasive aroma of gardenia blossoms wafting around the garden.


Buttonstc's avatar


What are the letters in parentheses? I’m on iPhone and they’re too small to read easily and I can’t pinch to zoom on the mobile version. Help me out here :)

cazzie's avatar

how about ‘intoxicating’ ?

Pandora's avatar

festering, smothering, Just joking.
Ah, got it dynamic.

YARNLADY's avatar

Briteny Spears “Intoxicate me know with your lovin.”

Sunny2's avatar

What are you writing?

gasman's avatar

If you can use a noun: juggernaut

rebbel's avatar


gambitking's avatar

yeah i’m thinking it’s “intoxicating” kinda like “infectious”

Earthgirl's avatar

tox·ic (tksk)
1. Of, relating to, or caused by a toxin or other poison.
2. Capable of causing injury or death, especially by chemical means; poisonous.
A toxic chemical or other substance.
(source :

If toxic is a good thing it is because it is killing a bad thing, no? Such as cancer?
In that case the word would be cidal. I wasn’t sure if cidal was a true word or a suffix but this article seems to bestow word status to it.
” Agents which kill cells are called cidal agents;”

SmartAZ's avatar

My favorite is whelmed. That is somewhat less than overwhelmed.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@SmartAZ “Whelmed” means “engulfed” or “submerged.” It is not a synonym for toxic, and its connotation is neutral (not positive).

SmartAZ's avatar

@SavoirFaire Okay, “antiseptic” means toxic in a good way.

My use of the word “whelm” was a response to the OP’s use of the word “overwhelming”. Google has a definition for “whelm” but I have heard it spoken only once, as a gag.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@SmartAZ “Antiseptic” means either “preventing the growth of disease-causing microorganisms” (in a medical context) or “scrupulously clean” (in a more general context). Again, it is not a synonym for “toxic” (not even with a positive connotation).

cazzie's avatar

Didn’t we come up with ‘intoxicating ’ and leave it at that?

cazzie's avatar

Antiseptic would be an antynom of toxic.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@cazzie We did. Then @SmartAZ decided to start posting bad answers to a question from four years ago.

SmartAZ's avatar

Wow, tough audience!

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