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[poi-zuh n-pen] /ˈpɔɪ zənˈpɛn/
composed or sent maliciously, as a letter, usually anonymously and for the purpose of damaging another's reputation or happiness:
The newspaper received a poison-pen letter alleging that the mayor was misusing city funds.
characterized by or given to the sending of poison-pen letters:
a poison-pen campaign; a poison-pen writer.
Origin of poison-pen
First recorded in 1910-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Historical Examples
  • Did you know anything about the poison-pen letters in Madison?

    On Secret Service William Nelson Taft
  • The poison-pen puzzle, as it came to be known in the department, first bobbed up some six months before Allison tackled it.

    On Secret Service William Nelson Taft

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