poison pill


: a financial tactic or provision used by a company to make an unwanted takeover prohibitively expensive or less desirable

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Twitter could announce the poison pill as soon as tomorrow. Sarah Frier, Bloomberg.com, 14 Apr. 2022 Hanson’s heroics avoided what would have been a poison pill to Oregon’s resume, as Washington entered the night No. 102 in NET and hadn’t beaten a NET top 25 team since 2019-20. oregonlive, 13 Jan. 2023 Twitter adopted a poison pill as a measure to prevent Musk from buying up more than 15% of the company, while giving the board more time to consider his bid and plot its next move. Dallas News, 25 Apr. 2022 Netflix responded by implementing a poison pill strategy that would be triggered once a single investor owned 10% of shares (or an institutional investor owned 20%). Dallas News, 7 Aug. 2022 From the latter article: A central mystery of Mr. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter is how the company’s board went from installing a poison pill to agreeing to sell to him in just 11 days. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 2 May 2022 Each bloc has positioned itself to win by swallowing, respectively, a rightist and an ultra-rightist poison pill. Bernard Avishai, The New Yorker, 30 Oct. 2022 The poison pill isn’t the only strategy Twitter is using to counter Musk’s offer. Will Daniel, Fortune, 15 Apr. 2022 Supporters of the project likened the ruling to a poison pill. cleveland, 4 Apr. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1983, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of poison pill was in 1983

Dictionary Entries Near poison pill

Cite this Entry

“Poison pill.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poison%20pill. Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Legal Definition

poison pill

poi·​son pill
: a financial tactic or provision used by a company to make an unwanted takeover prohibitively expensive or less desirable
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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