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poison pill

a pellet of a quick-acting poison, as cyanide, for a spy to carry in order to commit suicide when faced with capture or torture.
Financial Slang. any of various business devices created to prevent a company from being taken over by another, as issuing a new class of stock or stock warrants that would become costly to the buyer in the event of a takeover.
Origin of poison pill
First recorded in 1945-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for poison pill
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  • Many a sorely wounded lad has died with a cigarette in his mouth, whose dying was less bitter because of the "poison pill."

    Huts in Hell Daniel A. Poling
British Dictionary definitions for poison pill

poison pill

(finance) a tactic used by a company fearing an unwelcome takeover bid, in which the value of the company is automatically reduced, as by the sale of an issue of shares having an option unfavourable to the bidders, if the bid is successful
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for poison pill

poison pill

noun phrase

Any financial stratagem that causes a company to be unattractive to takeover bidders: Time Warner's poison pill effectively bars an investor from owning more than 15 percent of the company's outstanding shares (mid-1980s+ Business & finance)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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