ven·​om·​ous | \ ˈve-nə-məs How to pronounce venomous (audio) \

Definition of venomous

1 : producing venom in a specialized gland and capable of inflicting injury or death venomous snakes
2 : full of venom: such as
b : noxious, pernicious expose a venomous dope ring— Don Porter
c : spiteful, malevolent venomous criticism

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from venomous

venomously adverb
venomousness noun

Examples of venomous in a Sentence

The cobra is a venomous snake. a venomous attack on his character
Recent Examples on the Web The scene has triggered a venomous national debate that is scrambling questions over the headscarf, Islam, immigration, and radicalization., "PARIS — When a far-right French official disrupted a regional council meeting to demand that a Muslim woman accompanying a group of schoolchildren be ordered to remove her headscarf, ‘‘in the name of our secular principles,’’ her own child buried his head in her shoulder and cried.," 31 Oct. 2019 And now, finally, the majority realizes that the chief culprits for the venomous indignity of the political atmosphere are the president’s enemies. Conrad Black, National Review, "The Impeachment Farce Limps Along to Its Anticlimax," 30 Oct. 2019 The scene has triggered a venomous national debate that is scrambling questions over the headscarf, Islam, immigration and radicalization. Washington Post, "Muslim headscarf debate divides France, in climate of hate," 30 Oct. 2019 The household variety are non-venomous and small enough to squish with a single finger. Elizabeth Horkley, Quartz, "Our obsession with insects in horror films says a lot about our fear of destroying the planet," 30 Oct. 2019 In a feat of ingenious costuming, the wily toad has learned to impersonate the venomous Gaboon viper to fool predators. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "A clever African toad learned to copy a deadly snake to trick predators out of eating it," 21 Oct. 2019 Viceroy butterflies are colored like the toxic monarch, for example, and many harmless snakes mimic venomous ones. Munyaradzi Makoni, Science | AAAS, "One of these is a deadly viper. The other is a harmless toad. Can you tell the difference?," 20 Oct. 2019 The second is natural threats, whether from pathogens (e.g., malaria), venomous animals (e.g., snakes) or natural hazards (e.g., flooding or drought). Scientific American, "Latitude Adjustment: Distance from the Equator Shapes Our Thinking," 15 Oct. 2019 Reuters reports that the venomous 6-foot snake was caught by Bryce Lockett at a rifle range on the outskirts of Brisbane. Fox News, "Huge 'well-fed' snake caught in Australia, dubbed 'Chonk'," 26 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'venomous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of venomous

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for venomous

Middle English venimous, borrowed from Anglo-French venimus, venimous, from venim venom entry 1 + -us, -ous -ous

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about venomous

Statistics for venomous

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for venomous

The first known use of venomous was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for venomous


How to pronounce venomous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of venomous

: capable of putting poison or venom into another animal's body usually by biting or stinging it
: containing venom
: expressing very strong hatred or anger


ven·​om·​ous | \ ˈve-nə-məs How to pronounce venomous (audio) \

Kids Definition of venomous

: having or producing venom : poisonous venomous snakes


ven·​om·​ous | \ ˈven-ə-məs How to pronounce venomous (audio) \

Medical Definition of venomous

2 : producing venom in a specialized gland and capable of inflicting injury or death the vipers, pit vipers, and coral snakes are venomous

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on venomous

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


the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!