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. Adjective the witch gave Snow White a poison apple
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Hydra terrorized the villages surrounding Lake Lerna by spewing not milk but poison from its many heads, but that was merely a pastime. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "The Covid Hydra Bites a Baltimore Museum," 30 Oct. 2020 So far, the other candidates have ignored him and saved their poison darts for each other. Matt Sledge, NOLA.com, "Is fifth time the charm? Morris Reed hopes so in New Orleans district attorney race," 14 Oct. 2020 Wolverines were killed by poison meant for wolves and coyotes. Catrin Einhorn, New York Times, "Wolverines Don’t Require Protection, U.S. Officials Rule," 8 Oct. 2020 High-profile critics and rivals of Russian President Vladimir Putin have a tendency to die from poison. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "These countries quietly slid into authoritarianism. Should the US be concerned under Trump?," 7 Oct. 2020 Humans first began using poison in warfare thousands of years ago. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "Nature's Toxic Gifts: The Deadly Story of Poison," 4 Oct. 2020 However, resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Wife left to bear family grief, responsibilities, alone," 16 Sep. 2020 However, resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. cleveland, "Dear Annie: I’m upset with my husband for not helping me with family issues," 15 Sep. 2020 The Poison and Drug Information Center at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix provides free and confidential poison and drug information to the public and health care professionals. Jamie Landers, The Arizona Republic, "Banner experts warn of dangerous social media game the 'Benadryl challenge'," 4 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This will become part of the political landscape in a way that will poison the atmosphere every bit as much as the Russian plot story did. Jonathan Tobin, Washington Examiner, "Don't bet on a return to normalcy," 5 Nov. 2020 The move will further poison the working environment of media outlets in each other's country. Stephen Collinson And Caitlin Hu, CNN, "What global readers want to hear from Biden and Trump on the debate stage," 22 Oct. 2020 Earl Gray, Lane's defense attorney, said the request for an upward sentencing departure is an attempt to poison the potential pool of jurors. Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune, "Prosecutors want stiff sentences for ex-cops charged in George Floyd's killing," 12 Oct. 2020 The absence of humility, Danforth said, can poison any chance for a collaborative culture. Mark Leibovich, Star Tribune, "Trump's illness is a lesson in humility for a man, and an era, that needs it," 5 Oct. 2020 The absence of humility, Mr. Danforth said, can poison any chance for a collaborative culture. Mark Leibovich, New York Times, "The Untraveled High Road of Humility, and a President Laid Low," 4 Oct. 2020 Failure to reach one could poison relations between the two sides for years to come. Ian Wishart, Bloomberg.com, "Brexit Enters Its Endgame With a Defining Call for Boris Johnson," 2 Oct. 2020 And never try to poison a snake with mothballs or other chemicals. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "Checkered garter snake a gentle, gorgeous snake that’s common in San Antonio," 30 Sep. 2020 Wang had previously been caught trying to poison her husband, surnamed Feng, in February 2017 after an argument. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Chinese kindergarten teacher sentenced to death for poisoning 25 students with nitrite-laced porridge," 29 Sep. 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

1 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Poison.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poison. Accessed 1 Dec. 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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