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

Surprisingly, the team showed that the reptiles actually bit into the rats on less than half of their attacks (15), and of those, just seven strikes resulted in their deploying venom and getting a meal. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "‘Ninja' rat kicks snake in midair in amazing slo-mo video," 5 Apr. 2019 Northern Pacific rattlesnake venom contains a protein that functions identically. Kyle Dickman, Outside Online, "A Rattle with Death in Yosemite," 20 June 2018 This venom is made of a toxic form of identity politics, aided and abetted by critical race and gender theory. Sahil Handa, National Review, "What Conservatives Get Wrong about the Campus Wars," 4 July 2019 Do not waste precious time on tourniquets, attempts to suck out the venom, or snake bite kits. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "East Bay Regional Park District warns about rattlesnakes," 13 June 2019 Even with the vaccination, a dog still needs the anti-venom shot after a rattlesnake bite. Tom Stienstra,, "Rattlesnake season is here. Be prepared.," 28 June 2019 Legend says the eastern hognose can mix venom with its breath and kill a human from 25 feet away. Michelle Lou, CNN, "'Zombie snakes' in North Carolina are a lot less scary than they sound," 11 June 2019 Rangan explained that venom circulates not by blood but through your lymphatic system, which moves fluids more slowly through the body. Mary Forgione,, "It’s rattlesnake season: 12 things you need to know," 7 June 2019 So Kendrick still can’t help but wonder why, wonder if somebody was angry about something or just spewing venom or who knows what else? Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "Spirit of Buck O'Neil helps NLBM president cope with vandalism," 26 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

17 Aug 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).


a period when something is suspended

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