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 The homeowner denied placing poison hot dogs on the lawn, Schlueter said. Sarah Freishtat, chicagotribune.com, "Morgan Park neighbors fear homeowner is placing hot dogs laced with poison on front lawn following dog dispute," 24 Apr. 2021 At a gala dinner alongside her new friends Marie (Jasmine Blackborow) and Nadia (Gabrielle Brooks), Alina has her meal checked for poison by an Otkazat'sya food taster. Nick Schager, EW.com, "Shadow and Bone binge-watch recap: Episodes 1-8," 23 Apr. 2021 About 7% of exposures occurred in teens 13 to 19, a group that otherwise accounts for only 3% of poison control calls. Anne Saker, The Enquirer, "Home hazards: More kids swallowed batteries in 2020; desk-toy magnets a rising problem again," 5 Apr. 2021 The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals runs an animal poison control center, where pet owners call in with complaints about their pets being harmed. Jonathan Hettinger, USA TODAY, "Amazon is reviewing best-selling Seresto flea collar after reports of illnesses, deaths," 6 Mar. 2021 The scientists suspected that calcium may play a role in the action of the poison. Jennifer Frazer, Scientific American, "How a Carnivorous Mushroom Poisons Its Prey," 8 Apr. 2021 Basically, the saliva glands are serving up empty bowls, and venom glands are serving up bowls full of poison. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Humans Will Probably Evolve to Be Venomous," 30 Mar. 2021 Not hardcore drug use, but the presence of poison — a chemical found in eye drops. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "S.C. nurse who fatally poisoned husband with eye drops: "I just wanted him to suffer"," 13 Mar. 2021 This plan, which went into effect in December, also allows people to shoot prairie dogs recreationally and expands the use of poison to prevent the rodents from encroaching onto ranching properties. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, "The fight to save America’s most endangered mammal," 5 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This became terrifyingly apparent recently in the small city of Oldsmar, Florida, where just this month a hacker breached the software at a water treatment plant in an attempt to poison the local water supply. Jeff Zindel, Forbes, "The Biggest Cybersecurity Threats That More People Should Be Talking About: Industrial Hacking And Hijacking," 11 Mar. 2021 Coal plant closures have continued to accelerate because economics clearly favor clean energy, and the public increasingly demands power sources that don't poison our air and threaten our health. CNN, "Bloomberg and Timmermans: Ending global coal subsidies will save lives," 18 Mar. 2021 But McKenna said the size of the bill that Democrats are set to pass could, in effect, poison the well with Republicans. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "Biden's bipartisan deal efforts 'were never going to work out'," 6 Mar. 2021 The announcement in early February that hackers attempted to poison the water supply in a small Florida city attracted the attention of Rinaldo Nazzaro, the founder of a violent white supremacist group called the Base. New York Times, "Far-Right Groups Are Splintering in Wake of the Capitol Riot," 1 Mar. 2021 In early February that plant manager’s unease became another’s reality when someone reportedly tried to poison the water supply in the Gulf Coast city of Oldsmar, Fla. Dave Weinstein, WSJ, "Hackers May Be Coming for Your City’s Water Supply," 26 Feb. 2021 The Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent was used to poison Navalny. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Russia threatens to jail Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny if he does not immediately return," 28 Dec. 2020 The administration will be less optimistic about having an early impact on Vladimir Putin’s government, which first tried to poison, and then jailed, opposition politician Alexei Navalny. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "Biden pushes democracy abroad as a matter of national security," 18 Feb. 2021 Federal investigators are trying to hunt down the person who tried to poison a public water supply — remotely. Jeff Pegues, CBS News, "Feds tracking down hacker who tried to poison Florida town's water supply," 9 Feb. 2021 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

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Poison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poison. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for poison

poison

noun

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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