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"arsenic," 1799, from rat (n.) + poison (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Examples from the Web for rat-poison
Historical Examples
  • Timar drinks the coffee with the thought that perhaps there is rat-poison in it.

  • Also he admitted with equal readiness that she might have found an empty box which had once contained a rat-poison.

    Oldfield Nancy Huston Banks
  • He testified to having handled that particular variety of rat-poison in very large quantities for many years.

    Oldfield Nancy Huston Banks
  • At five o'clock in the arternoon Ginger Dick was talking about two-penn'orth o' rat-poison.

    The Understudy W.W. Jacobs
  • A rat-poison may be met with composed of baric carbonate, sugar, and oatmeal, flavoured with a little oil of aniseed and caraway.

    Poisons: Their Effects and Detection Alexander Wynter Blyth
  • Sometimes he thought the time was getting near when he would have to sell his vases and buy two pennyworth of rat-poison.

    Furze the Cruel John Trevena
  • The twopence was set aside for his funeral as it were, or rather for the rat-poison which would make the funeral necessary.

    Furze the Cruel John Trevena

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