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noun poi·son \ˈpȯi-zən\

Simple Definition of poison

  • : a substance that can cause people or animals to die or to become very sick if it gets into their bodies especially by being swallowed

  • : something (such as an idea, emotion, or situation) that is very harmful or unpleasant

Full Definition of poison

  1. 1 a :  a substance that through its chemical action usually kills, injures, or impairs an organism b (1) :  something destructive or harmful (2) :  an object of aversion or abhorrence

  2. 2 :  a substance that inhibits the activity of another substance or the course of a reaction or process <a catalyst poison>

Examples of poison

  1. a jar of rat poison

  2. The killer gave her victims food laced with poison.

  3. suck poison from a snake bite

  4. The villain in the play dies by drinking a vial of poison.

  5. Poverty is a poison to society.

Origin of poison

Middle English, from Anglo-French poisun drink, potion, poison, from Latin potion-, potio drink — more at potion

First Known Use: 13th century

Other Chemical Engineering Terms

Rhymes with poison



verb poi·son

Simple Definition of poison

  • : to cause (a person or animal) to die or to become very sick with poison

  • : to put a harmful or deadly substance in or on (something)

  • : to change (something) in a very harmful or unpleasant way

Full Definition of poison

poi·sonedpoi·son·ing play \ˈpȯiz-niŋ, ˈpȯi-zən-iŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to injure or kill with poison b :  to treat, taint, or impregnate with or as if with poison

  3. 2 :  to exert a baneful influence on :  corrupt <poisoned their minds>

  4. 3 :  to inhibit the activity, course, or occurrence of <on the night when he poisoned my rest — Charles Dickens>

poi·son·er play \ˈpȯiz-nər, ˈpȯi-zən-ər\ noun

Examples of poison

  1. How did the murderer poison the victim?

  2. Hundreds were poisoned from drinking the contaminated water.

  3. He was poisoned with cyanide.

  4. The factory poisoned the air with its fumes.

  5. Illegal dumping of waste is poisoning the stream and killing fish.

  6. He poisoned their minds with hatred for her.

  7. His angry outburst poisoned the atmosphere of the party.

  8. She was working in a hostile environment poisoned by sexist jokes.

14th Century

First Known Use of poison

14th century



adjective poi·son

Definition of poison

  1. 1 :  poisonous, venomous <a poison plant> <a poison tongue>

  2. 2 :  impregnated with poison :  poisoned <a poison arrow>

Seen and Heard

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February 9, 2016

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