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 poison (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

Other Words from poison

Verb

poisoner \ ˈpȯiz-​nər How to pronounce poison (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. Adjective the witch gave Snow White a poison apple
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For her, the pills weren’t dragon eggs, but poison. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Dec. 2021 Taking unprescribed doses intended for animals could seriously harm your health and poison control centers across the U.S. have reported an increase in calls related to the drug. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 2 Sep. 2021 Taking unprescribed doses intended for animals could seriously harm your health and poison control centers across the U.S. have reported an increase in calls related to the drug. Chacour Koop, al, 1 Sep. 2021 Alexander II was so paranoid that the company Roederer had to create its transparent bottle, so the czar could check for impurities (or poison). John Anderson, WSJ, 12 Aug. 2021 Their natural enemies live in the garden too, so don’t spray with poison or oil or insecticidal soap. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Aug. 2021 The woods were full of signs threatening traps or poison, to deter potential miscreants and their truffle-sniffing dogs. Ew Staff, EW.com, 3 Aug. 2021 The inflation spike is a lagging Covid indicator, and inflation is poison for Democrats. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 22 Nov. 2021 Quinine appears again, but the latter element should give people pause, as strychnine is an extremely potent poison. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Democrats burned precious political capital simply to poison the well for acceptance of the upcoming midterm elections and lay the foundation for a perilous assault on core traditions of American governance. The Editors, National Review, 21 Jan. 2022 The toxic leaders that are involved in this abuse experience no consequence and are able to perpetuate their problematic behavior to further poison the company culture. Janice Gassam Asare, Forbes, 11 Mar. 2021 The cloud chamber in Gilbert’s atomic lab contains a wire coated with polonium-210, the radioactive compound used to poison ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 4 Jan. 2022 The California Coastal Commission has approved a plan to poison invasive mice threatening rare seabirds on the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Fox News, 19 Dec. 2021 Chinese lunar folklore sparkles to life for 12-year-old twins Mei and Yun, who embark on a magical adventure to save their grandfather after he's accused of trying to poison the Emperor's son with his mooncakes. Ew Staff, EW.com, 7 Dec. 2021 Oitzinger said without rules like this one, Wisconsin will continue to slowly poison its residents. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3 Dec. 2021 Needless to say, human rights are unlikely to rank particularly high on the priority list of countries which allegedly poison opposition figures, imprison political opponents or attempt genocide. Leopoldo López And Uriel Epshtein, CNN, 9 Dec. 2021 Jurors learned that Gregory Bender went to extraordinary lengths to poison Jessica and Patrick's relationship. CBS News, 13 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Behavior and reproduction Most frogs are nocturnal, but not poison frogs. National Geographic, 28 Feb. 2020 Some farmers even intentionally poison cranes to stop them from foraging in their crops. National Geographic, 10 Feb. 2020 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, 25 July 2019 Ken said, battling through the foliage before realizing most of it was poison ivy. Elisabeth Egan, chicagotribune.com, 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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Dictionary Entries Near poison

poiska

poison

poison arum

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for poison

Last Updated

24 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Poison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poison. Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for poison

poison

noun

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

poison

transitive verb
poisoned; poisoning\ ˈpȯiz-​niŋ, -​ᵊn-​iŋ How to pronounce poison (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

More from Merriam-Webster on poison

Nglish: Translation of poison for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of poison for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about poison

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