venom

1 of 2

noun

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

venom

2 of 2

verb

venomed; venoming; venoms

Examples of venom in a Sentence

Noun She spoke of him with venom in her voice. He spewed venom against his rival.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
If stung, don’t rub the area, which will just activate the venom packets, said Yanagihara. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, 29 June 2024 How a smaller creature like a dog might respond to the venom was not immediately clear. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 17 June 2024 According to Everyday Health, a health and medical website, joro spiders' venom is not considered harmful to mammals like dogs. Tiffany Acosta, The Arizona Republic, 14 June 2024 Married to Medicine is an exemplar of the magic that occurs when a reality show is centered around organic relationships — but what happens when even these organic relationships fall victim to the venom that arises when your reality is permanently skewed by a decade of being followed by cameras? Ile-Ife Okantah, Vulture, 27 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for venom 

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English venim, borrowed from Anglo-French venim, venyn, going back to Vulgar Latin *venīmen, re-formation of Latin venēnum "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

Note: In the sense "poison" Latin venēnum is perhaps an avoidance euphemism, a word meaning "magical charm" being transferred to something toxic, and hence dangerous, to avoid saying the actual word. Compare Old High German gift "gift, magical drink," Modern German Gift "poison."

Verb

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

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near venom

Cite this Entry

“Venom.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/venom. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

venom

noun
ven·​om
ˈven-əm
1
: poison produced by some animals (as a snake, scorpion, or bee) and passed to a victim usually by biting or stinging
2

Medical Definition

venom

noun
ven·​om ˈven-əm How to pronounce venom (audio)
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on venom

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