poison

noun
poi·​son | \ ˈpȯi-zᵊn How to pronounce poison (audio) \

Definition of poison

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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 : a substance that inhibits the activity of another substance or the course of a reaction or process a catalyst poison

poison

verb
poisoned; poisoning\ ˈpȯiz-​niŋ How to pronounce poisoning (audio) , ˈpȯi-​zᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of poison (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to injure or kill with poison
b : to treat, taint, or impregnate with or as if with poison
2 : to exert a baneful influence on : corrupt poisoned their minds
3 : to inhibit the activity, course, or occurrence of on the night when he poisoned my rest— Charles Dickens

poison

adjective

Definition of poison (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : poisonous, venomous a poison plant a poison tongue
2 : impregnated with poison : poisoned a poison arrow

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Other Words from poison

Verb

poisoner \ ˈpȯiz-​nər How to pronounce poisoner (audio) , ˈpȯi-​zᵊn-​ər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for poison

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of poison in a Sentence

Noun a jar of rat poison The killer gave her victims food laced with poison. suck poison from a snake bite The villain in the play dies by drinking a vial of poison. Poverty is a poison to society. Verb How did the murderer poison the victim? Hundreds were poisoned from drinking the contaminated water. He was poisoned with cyanide. The factory poisoned the air with its fumes. Illegal dumping of waste is poisoning the stream and killing fish. He poisoned their minds with hatred for her. His angry outburst poisoned the atmosphere of the party. She was working in a hostile environment poisoned by sexist jokes. Adjective the witch gave Snow White a poison apple
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Novichok is a highly conspicuous Russian poison, which was developed by the Soviets and is known to Western intelligence as originating in Russia. Madeline Roache, Time, "Russia Was Linked to 14 Deaths in the U.K. But Britain Looked Away. A New Book Explores Why," 12 Nov. 2019 Key elements: Zero tolerance, free poison, and the Rat Patrol, a team of officers armed with shotguns, defending the Alberta-Saskatchewan border from the small invaders. Author: Amanda Coletta, Anchorage Daily News, "Alberta, Canada: Rat-free for 70 years," 28 Sep. 2019 The crimes portrayed used poisons, gas, blunt or sharp objects. courant.com, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 27 Sep. 2019 Before taking out a camper trailer or RV, be sure to remove any rat poison, mothballs or antifreeze in the toilets. oregonlive, "Camping with your dog this Labor Day weekend? Bring a pet first-aid kit, says the ASPCA," 31 Aug. 2019 That counseling, which usually takes place in a hospital setting after a psychiatric emergency, involves discussing with parents how much access their kids have to firearms or poison, and then suggesting ways to make their homes safer. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Teens are increasingly depressed, anxious, and suicidal. How can we help?," 11 July 2019 In a medical context, detoxing means removing toxins—poisons—from the body. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Can Any Skin-Care Products Actually 'Detox' Your Face?," 3 May 2019 Rats can cause losses of up to 10% of yield, equivalent to around $930 million per year in Malaysia, but chemical rat poisons are inefficient and expensive, according to the report. Jack Guy, CNN, "Rat-eating macaques could boost palm oil sustainability in Malaysia," 22 Oct. 2019 So let’s make a perfect cup of tea, set out some rat poison just in case, and magically materialize this new version of Harry. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Charmed's Rupert Evans talks the premiere's shocking masked assassin reveal," 12 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb More children were poisoned by bleach in 2017 than by liquid nicotine. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "Vape juice can kill kids. A vaping law's slow rollout left them at risk of nicotine poison," 25 Nov. 2019 In the twelfth century, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa poisoned water wells during the siege of Tortona, in Italy. Ana Santos Rutschman, The Conversation, "Salad bars and water systems are easy targets for bioterrorists – and America’s monitoring system is woefully inadequate," 7 Nov. 2019 People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and can die from breathing CO. Maggie Rauser, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Safe Kids Carroll: How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, the silent killer," 2 Nov. 2019 The Mattapoisett teen fatally poisoned himself in the parking lot of a Fairhaven Kmart on July 12, 2014, by filling his pickup truck with carbon monoxide while talking with Carter by phone and text message. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Michelle Carter loses parole bid but will get out early anyway," 20 Sep. 2019 The decision by House Democrats last month to pursue an impeachment inquiry against Trump has no doubt poisoned the waters between the parties. Emmarie Huetteman, USA TODAY, "Voters say Congress needs to curb drug prices, but are lawmakers listening?," 11 Nov. 2019 The fraternities severed ties with the Boulder campus in the wake of the 2004 alcohol-poisoning death rather than accept stricter oversight. Elizabeth Hernandez, The Denver Post, "15 years after pledge’s hazing death, relationship between CU and Boulder’s fraternities “nonexistent”," 8 Nov. 2019 Mercury, used in the refining process, leaves rivers poisoned, and the pollution can spread hundreds of miles downstream. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "Blood Gold in the Brazilian Rain Forest," 4 Nov. 2019 Harvey Updyke, the Alabama football fan who poisoned the iconic trees at Auburn University’s Toomer’s Corner in 2011, failed to appear in court today. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Harvey Updyke, poisoner of Auburn’s Toomer Corner trees, fails to show at court," 30 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Field biologist Andrius Pašukonis, who researches poison frog homing behavior in the wild and was not involved in this study, is excited about the results and hopes to see more work done on these and other species. Geetha Iyer, National Geographic, "This surprisingly smart frog makes maps in its mind," 25 July 2019 Ken said, battling through the foliage before realizing most of it was poison ivy. Elisabeth Egan, chicagotribune.com, "Algren Award finalist: "Errata" by Carol Keeley," 10 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'poison.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of poison

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for poison

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for poison

Time Traveler

The first known use of poison was in the 13th century

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Statistics for poison

Last Updated

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Poison.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poison. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for poison

poison

noun
How to pronounce poison (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of poison

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

poison

verb

English Language Learners Definition of poison (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

poison

noun
poi·​son | \ ˈpȯi-zᵊn How to pronounce poison (audio) \

Kids Definition of poison

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a substance that by its chemical action can injure or kill a living thing

poison

verb
poisoned; poisoning

Kids Definition of poison (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to injure or kill with poison
2 : to put poison on or in

poison

noun
poi·​son | \ ˈpȯiz-ᵊn How to pronounce poison (audio) \

Medical Definition of poison

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a substance that through its chemical action usually kills, injures, or impairs an organism
2 : a substance that inhibits the activity of another substance or the course of a reaction or process a catalyst poison
poisoned; poisoning\ ˈpȯiz-​niŋ, -​ᵊn-​iŋ How to pronounce poisoning (audio) \

Medical Definition of poison (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to injure or kill with poison
2 : to treat, taint, or impregnate with poison

poison

adjective

Medical Definition of poison (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : poisonous a poison plant
2 : impregnated with poison a poison arrow

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Comments on poison

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