poi·​son·​wood ˈpȯi-zᵊn-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce poisonwood (audio)
: a tree (Metopium toxiferum) of the cashew family that is native to Florida and the West Indies and has compound leaves, greenish paniculate flowers, and orange-yellow fruits and produces a severely irritating sap

Examples of poisonwood in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most of the fires set didn't harm wildlife or the firefighters who responded, save for some exposure to the irritant-containing shrub poisonwood, Gantt said. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 29 Apr. 2021 A reticulated python swallowed a man whole in Indonesia last month, but python attacks on humans are so rare that Hargrove’s biggest concern while hunting was poisonwood, whose sap causes blistering rashes. Washington Post, 5 May 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'poisonwood.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1756, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of poisonwood was in 1756

Dictionary Entries Near poisonwood

Cite this Entry

“Poisonwood.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poisonwood. Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


poi·​son·​wood ˈpȯiz-ᵊn-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce poisonwood (audio)
: a caustic or poisonous tree of the genus Metopium (M. toxiferum) of Florida and the West Indies that has compound leaves, clusters of greenish flowers, and orange-yellow fruits

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