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 And because so much of Redonda is virtually inaccessible to humans, the EAG also hired climbers from the British Mountaineering Council to scale the cliffs and plant poison in the island’s hardest-to-reach nooks and crannies. National Geographic, "Ravenous wild goats ruled this island for over a century. Now, it's being reborn.," 2 Jan. 2020 Sweet potato plants don’t have spines or poisons to defend themselves. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Sweet potato can warn neighbors of insect attacks," 12 Dec. 2019 Lohr was indicted by an Arizona State Grand Jury in May on suspicion of one count of criminal damage and nine counts of adding poison or other harmful substance to food, drink or medicine, according to the indictment. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "Man accused of tampering with food will face Arizona charges after California case," 5 Dec. 2019 That strikes me as ultra vires; liberals can’t stir more poison into the pot. The Economist, "Open Future Is liberalism really kaput?," 4 Dec. 2019 Minnesota offered Hutchinson a poison-pill contract worth $49 million over seven years, the richest contract ever awarded a guard. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "Steve Hutchinson hoping hall of fame will beckon after illustrious career with Vikings, Seahawks," 1 Dec. 2019 But our ambitious and in-depth reporting shows El Mencho's CJNG cartel was, by far, the dominant provider of that wretched poison at that time in Kentucky. courier-journal.com, "Why is The Courier Journal reporting on a deadly Mexican drug cartel? Because it's here," 25 Nov. 2019 So the point here is not to stab Elway with a poison pen (again) about his inability to find a franchise quarterback. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: Would Broncos be better off with Bradley Chubb or Josh Allen on their team? That’s an easy answer.," 20 Nov. 2019 Pick your poison Stadia is in many ways three separate products bundled into one service. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Google Stadia launch review: Gaming’s “future” looks rough in the present," 18 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ali was succeeded by his two sons Hasan, who was later poisoned, and Hussein, who was also murdered. Washington Post, "Killing of Soleimani evokes dark history of political assassinations in the formative days of Shiite Islam," 10 Jan. 2020 More than 46 other residents of Huang’s village were poisoned as early as the 1970s as a lead-zinc mine funneled wastewater for years into a ditch that locals used to irrigate their fields of cassava and sugar cane. Anchorage Daily News, "Chinese metal mines feed global demand for gadgets and poison China’s poorest regions," 30 Dec. 2019 One of the presidential candidates that year, Viktor Yushchenko, had been poisoned, surely by Kremlin agents. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Ukraine and Us," 19 Dec. 2019 In Bombshell’s series of events, Kelly falls ill the morning of the debate scene after her coffee gets poisoned, but whether that happened in real-life is unclear. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Your Cheat Sheet to the True Events in Bombshell," 14 Dec. 2019 Most received poisoning from combustion products, according to a report from TASS. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Russia’s only carrier, damaged in shipyard accident, now on fire," 12 Dec. 2019 Similarly, there’s a kind of trivialization of murder going on here, as dancers are shot, poisoned, beaten or strangled, only to get back up and do it again. Lauren Warnecke, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Murder mysteries and a few bright moments in Hubbard Street Dance’s fall series," 9 Nov. 2019 The mercury of New Almaden poisoned immigrant miners and polluted the Guadalupe River and south San Francisco Bay, just as the Gold Rush left a toxic legacy elsewhere in the region’s water supplies. Ingrid Burrington, The New Republic, "How We Misremember the Internet’s Origins," 29 Oct. 2019 Around Salt Lake City, more than 50 people using CBD vapes were poisoned, most by a device called Yolo! Jessica Seaman, The Denver Post, "Checkup Denver: First vaping-related death, former Centura Health doctor finds new job and more Colorado health news," 28 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

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Poison.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poison. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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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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