ven·om·ous | \ ˈve-nə-məs \

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

a : poisonous, envenomed

b : noxious, pernicious expose a venomous dope ring —Don Porter

c : spiteful, malevolent venomous criticism

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Other words from venomous

venomously adverb
venomousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for venomous


envenomed, poison, poisoned, poisonous, toxic


nonpoisonous, nontoxic, nonvenomous

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Examples of venomous in a Sentence

The cobra is a venomous snake. a venomous attack on his character

Recent Examples on the Web

In New York, a man trying to jump start his car was surprised to encounter the telltale sound of a venomous timber rattlesnake curled up on the battery, according to the Associated Press. Scott Berson, charlotteobserver, "Snake slithers out of trash and up Tennessee woman's leg as she drives to the dump," 21 June 2018 To hunters who join snake roundups for fundraisers and family entertainment, Pennsylvania’s venomous rattlesnakes are just like dogs. Aubrey Nagle,, "Protesters rally in Rittenhouse Square, Senior Week puts the 'wild' in Wildwood | Morning Newsletter," 20 June 2018 Although non-venomous, the snake's bite may cause bleeding. William Axford, Houston Chronicle, "North Texas teacher wrangles snake that invaded elementary school," 14 May 2018 Casson Thomas, an 8-year-old from New Smyrna Beach, Fla., had the scare of a lifetime after being bitten by a venomous snake on July 4. Caroline Judelson, Fox News, "Boy, 8, gets 18 doses of anti-venom after painful snake bite," 10 July 2018 Wildlife trapper Bob Cross captured the snake, identified it as a boa constrictor and suffered a bite — but the critter wasn’t venomous. Hal Boedeker,, "WKMG anchor spots snake, gets results," 13 July 2018 Rather, these believers choose to bring venomous snakes to their houses of worship. Julia Duin, WSJ, "Christian Serpent-Handlers Protect Us All," 12 July 2018 According to the SC Department of Natural resources, there are 38 types of snakes in the state, only six of which are venomous. Myah Ward, charlotteobserver, "Copperhead bites 9-year-old pit bull in Matthews," 5 July 2018 The University of Florida notes the puss caterpillar, which turns into the southern flannel moth, is one of the most venomous caterpillars in the United States. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Caterpillar Sends Teen to Hospital in "Worst Pain He's Ever Felt"," 22 June 2018

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.

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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

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Last Updated

2 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for venomous

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

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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 \

Kids Definition of venomous

: having or producing venom : poisonous venomous snakes


ven·om·ous | \ ˈven-ə-məs \

Medical Definition of venomous 

1 : poisonous

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on venomous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for venomous

Spanish Central: Translation of venomous

Nglish: Translation of venomous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of venomous for Arabic Speakers

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