ven·​om | \ ˈve-nəm How to pronounce venom (audio) \

Definition of venom

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a toxic substance produced by some animals (such as snakes, scorpions, or bees) that is injected into prey or an enemy chiefly by biting or stinging and has an injurious or lethal effect broadly : a substance that is poisonous
2 : a spiteful malicious feeling or state of mind : extreme ill will : malevolence


venomed; venoming; venoms

Definition of venom (Entry 2 of 2)

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Synonyms for venom

Synonyms: Noun

bane, poison, toxic, toxin

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Examples of venom in a Sentence


She spoke of him with venom in her voice. He spewed venom against his rival.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That's because the key to support scorpion is its deadly venom. Fox News, "Gutfeld: NoKo wasn't just human victory, but ratings one too," 13 May 2018 Female wasps have stingers that can either inject venom or lay eggs. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Newly Discovered Wasp Has a Terrifyingly Large Stinger," 8 July 2018 Katryna Ritter, a five-year member of the rugby club, says she was bitten in her mother’s yard on Mother’s Day and the bite was bad enough to require anti-venom. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "'I felt every kind of pain you can imagine' Copperhead bites Charlotte rugby player | Charlotte Observer," 22 May 2018 The faster your heart rate is, the faster the venom will spread throughout your bloodstream. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "How to Avoid and Treat Rattlesnake Bites," 9 Nov. 2018 For the snail-averse, bee-venom masks offer an appealing alternative. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "What Snail Mucus Says About Beauty Trends," 26 Dec. 2018 Males of the Australian monotremes — egg-laying mammals — produce venom in their thighs during mating season and deliver the poison to competitors via hollow spurs just above their webbed feet. 8. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Poison," 25 Sep. 2018 He’s filled with just enough venom to want to understand our culture and to criticize it with bruising eloquence. Zachary Fine, WSJ, "‘Attention’ Review: Anatomist of Our Disorder," 30 Aug. 2018 Stark polarization in the country is nothing new (urban vs. rural, conservative vs. liberal, Fox vs. MSNBC, whites vs. everyone else), but through his words and actions, Trump seems to have brought out a particular venom. Angela Helm, The Root, "Poll: One-Third of Americans, Nearly Half of Black People Think We’re Headed for Another Civil War," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'venom.' 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 venom


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for venom


Middle English venim, borrowed from Anglo-French venim, venyn, going back to Vulgar Latin *venīmen, re-formation of Latin venēmum "magical herb, poison," going back to *wenes-no-m, from *wenes- (whence vener-, venus "sexual desire, qualities exciting desire, charm") + *-no-, instrumental suffix — more at venus


Middle English venimen, borrowed from Anglo-French venimer, verbal derivative of venim venom entry 1

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Statistics for venom

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for venom

The first known use of venom was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for venom



English Language Learners Definition of venom

: poison that is produced by an animal (such as a snake) and used to kill or injure another animal usually through biting or stinging
: a very strong feeling of anger or hatred


ven·​om | \ ˈve-nəm How to pronounce venom (audio) \

Kids Definition of venom

: poison produced by an animal (as a snake or scorpion) and passed to a victim usually by biting or stinging


ven·​om | \ ˈven-əm How to pronounce venom (audio) \

Medical Definition of venom

: a toxic substance produced by some animals (as snakes, scorpions, or bees) that is injected into prey or an enemy chiefly by biting or stinging and has an injurious or lethal effect broadly : a substance that is poisonous

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More from Merriam-Webster on venom

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with venom

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for venom

Spanish Central: Translation of venom

Nglish: Translation of venom for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of venom for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about venom

Comments on venom

What made you want to look up venom? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something valued as if it were money

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