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 The pits of peaches contain cyanogenic compounds, which the human body converts to cyanide, a poison, when consumed. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "All The Peach References In You Season 2 Could Hint At Something Crazy About Love," 15 Jan. 2020 The poison of choice, the Redditor writes, could very well be...a peach. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "All The Peach References In You Season 2 Could Hint At Something Crazy About Love," 15 Jan. 2020 When toxins get snagged on the protein, cells release enzymes that break down the poisons. Carl Zimmer, New York Times, "Why Is Air Pollution So Harmful? DNA May Hold the Answer," 13 Jan. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Green, as with all colours, comes with a complex set of symbolic associations, ranging from fertility to envy to growth to poison to money to hope to nature. Rosalind Jana, refinery29.com, "The Subversive Allure Of A Good Green Dress," 28 Jan. 2020 The effort to impeach President Donald Trump has made the country’s diplomacy toxic, with suspicion and potential leaks apt to poison any big initiative. The Economist, "The World in 2020 Why America and Russia should extend a key nuclear deal," 27 Dec. 2019 The trial would be allowed to go forward, but the judge admonished Richardson and his deputy, Moran, for violating a sacred tenet of military criminal justice: to not poison the system by making their opinions clear. Megan Rose, ProPublica, "Blame Over Justice: The Human Toll of the Navy’s Relentless Push to Punish One of Its Own," 20 Nov. 2019 But the impeachment proceedings threaten to poison the atmosphere. Paul Wiseman, Fortune, "Why an End to the U.S.-China Trade War Could be Close," 30 Sep. 2019 But the impeachment proceedings threaten to poison the atmosphere. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Could Washington’s impeachment drama spark China trade deal?," 29 Sep. 2019 The Eberle brothers had dynamite for blowing up railroad bridges, and strychnine to poison the food and water that rebel wives would offer to investigating lawmen. Trevor Paulhus, Smithsonian, "When the Socialist Revolution Came to Oklahoma—and Was Crushed," 19 Sep. 2019 Between the brand and Spencer, over 45,000 Instagram followers are already familiar with Makeup a Murder's grim take on cosmetics, which includes references to poison, gore, and crime scenes. Marci Robin, Allure, "There's Now a True Crime-Themed Brand Called "Makeup a Murder," and I'm Dead," 12 July 2019 The Fourth Estate's fly-on-the-wall, nuts and bolts look at how the sausage gets made has the potential to undercut outlandish right wing conspiracy theories about corrupt, liberal journalists in cahoots to poison the sausage. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "The New York Times," 25 May 2018 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

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Poison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poison?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=p&file=poison01. Accessed 16 Feb. 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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