poison ivy

noun

Definition of poison ivy 

1a : a climbing plant (Toxicodendron radicans synonym Rhus radicans) of the cashew family that is especially common in the eastern and central U.S., that has ternate leaves, greenish flowers, and white berries, and that produces an irritating oil causing a usually intensely itching skin rash

b : any of several plants closely related to poison ivy

2 : a skin rash caused by poison ivy

Illustration of poison ivy

Illustration of poison ivy

poison ivy 1a

Examples of poison ivy in a Sentence

I got poison ivy all over my arm.

Recent Examples on the Web

This is a major way to distinguish phytophotodermatitis from contact dermatitis, an allergic skin reaction that can happen in response to the more usual suspects such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Beware of Phytophotodermatitis, The Weird Sun Reaction That Could Definitely Ruin Your Summer," 18 Aug. 2018 Giant hogweed, which is native to eastern Europe, produces a sap that is considered more dangerous than poison ivy, and can cause blindness. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "This invasive European plant can blind you. It’s now growing in NC.," 12 July 2018 To minimize the symptoms of poison ivy, use calamine lotion or products containing aluminum acetate. Erik Polan, Philly.com, "Q&A: How do I know if I have poison ivy?," 8 June 2018 The best way to prevent contracting poison ivy or oak is to avoid the plants entirely. Erik Polan, Philly.com, "Q&A: How do I know if I have poison ivy?," 8 June 2018 Current Time 0:00 / Duration 0:33 How to Identify Poison Ivy Advertisement Congaree National Park Ranger David Shelley gives three easy ways to identify poison ivy. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "This invasive European plant can blind you. It’s now growing in NC.," 12 July 2018 Roxanne Amick’s body was found wrapped in a blanket and dumped in a patch of poison ivy near Belair and Perry Hall roads. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Ex-Baltimore County man tied to wife's decade-old murder by DNA evidence is sentenced to 30 years," 22 June 2018 Higher on residents’ lists were poison ivy near a playground and a missing stop sign. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "‘When is it going to stop?’ A rise in homicides in the District brings grief and frustration," 29 May 2018 Mary Boncek, Dacula A: Goats enjoy poison ivy foliage very much. Walter Reeves, ajc, "Orchid needs correct light to bloom," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'poison ivy.' 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 ivy

1782, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for poison ivy

The first known use of poison ivy was in 1782

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More Definitions for poison ivy

poison ivy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of poison ivy

: a common plant in the central and eastern U.S. that has leaves which cause a very itchy and painful rash on your skin if you touch them

: the rash that is caused by poison ivy

poison ivy

noun

Kids Definition of poison ivy

1 : a usually climbing plant that has leaves with three leaflets and can cause an itchy painful rash when touched

2 : a skin rash caused by poison ivy

poison ivy

noun
\-ˈī-vē \

Medical Definition of poison ivy 

1a : a climbing plant of the genus Rhus (R. radicans synonym Toxicodendron radicans) that is especially common in the eastern and central United States, that has leaves in groups of three, greenish flowers, and white berries, and that produces an acutely irritating oil causing a usually intensely itching skin rash

b : any of several plants closely related to poison ivy especially : poison oak sense 1b

2 : a skin rash produced by poison ivy

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More from Merriam-Webster on poison ivy

Spanish Central: Translation of poison ivy

Nglish: Translation of poison ivy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about poison ivy

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