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

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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 Opponents were forced to pick their poison, Doncic or Porzingis. Dallas News, "Kristaps Porzingis’ season debut showed his best fit may be as Mavericks’ power forward, for now," 15 Jan. 2021 The payoff, beyond McCollum simply producing at a high volume, should be that opponents will have to pick their poison rather than focus so much on Lillard. oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum making teams pay for focusing too much on Damian Lillard," 2 Jan. 2021 Dear Stuck: Living in anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. cleveland, "Dear Annie: How do I let go of old anger?," 15 Dec. 2020 But spice use is still a problem, even though the number of emergency room visits and poison control reports have plummeted since its peak in 2015. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Synthetic marijuana prosecutions get mixed results due to legal complications," 25 Dec. 2020 Had the Wolverines become contaminated by their homemade rat poison? Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan football became a victim of its own 'rat poison'," 6 Nov. 2020 No antidote exists for the poison, which can kill a person within 36 to 72 hours of exposure, according to the CDC. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "What is ricin? Illegal and 'very toxic' poison sent to President Trump has no antidote," 20 Sep. 2020 Pick your poison, then sample bites like crispy portobello fries or lobster corn fritters. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "8 bites of restaurant news: Coffee near White Rock Lake, pizza in Arlington, bars in Dallas, Eataly update," 2 Dec. 2020 Pick your poison: stenographers at The New York Times, big check-collecting cable news talking heads, the CNN bookers who gave routine airtime to liars and racists. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Consider the Bootlicker," 9 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb During several years of acrimonious Brexit talks, many feared that a failure of the EU and the U.K. to reach a deal on their future relations could poison bilateral ties, even threatening the U.K. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "France and Germany Retake Reins as Britain Leaves EU’s Economic Orbit," 27 Dec. 2020 Novichok is also believed to have been used by Russian operatives to poison former Soviet double agent Sergei Skripal in 2018. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Alexei Navalny says Trump should join other leaders in condemning nerve agent used to poison him," 15 Oct. 2020 As of now, the state has blocked the use of toxicants or anything else used to poison hogs, but the Texas Farm Bureau has been working to change that. Hunter Davis, Fox News, "'Swine bomb' warning: Agriculture Department sounds alarm as wild hog population surges," 14 Oct. 2020 The operatives used it to poison Mr. Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, in southern England. Michael Schwirtz, New York Times, "Nerve Agent Was Used to Poison Navalny, Chemical Weapons Body Confirms," 6 Oct. 2020 Novichok was used to poison former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter two years ago — an attack Western intelligence linked to Russian state security agents. Washington Post, "Russian opposition leader Navalny directly blames Putin for poisoning," 1 Oct. 2020 Whereas a deal would create a base on which Britain could build other agreements with its largest and most important neighbour, the acrimonious blame game that would follow a failure in the talks would poison relations for years. The Economist, "Last tango in Brussels A thin, last-minute Brexit trade deal is better than no deal at all," 12 Dec. 2020 Exhaust gasses contain carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless, colorless gas that can poison and kill people. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Portable Generators to Keep Your Home Running," 9 Dec. 2020 The partisan leakers, the uncritical press reporters who abetted them, Adam Schiff, the many Democrats who promoted the collusion theory—all were effectively colluding with Russia to poison our politics. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "The U.S. Has an ‘Intelligence’ Problem," 23 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Behavior and reproduction Most frogs are nocturnal, but not poison frogs. National Geographic, "Dyeing poison frog," 28 Feb. 2020 Some farmers even intentionally poison cranes to stop them from foraging in their crops. National Geographic, "Gray crowned crane," 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, "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

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Poison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poison. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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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 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

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Comments on poison

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