- the poisonous milky sap of a large tree, Antiaris toxicaria, of the mulberry family, native to tropical Asia, Africa, and the Philippine Islands, used for arrow poison.
- the tree itself.
Origin of upas
1775–85; < Javanese: poison, especially dart poison
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for upas
The darts used are about five inches long, and are dipped in upas juice.On the Equator
Harry de Windt
The poison for these darts is obtained from the ipoh tree (upas).Children of Borneo
Edwin Herbert Gomes
I knew I should die under the upas tree of his hateful presence!Her Mother's Secret
Emma D. E. N. Southworth
This was the only specimen of the upas tree that I saw in Borneo.Borneo and the Indian Archipelago
Frank S. Marryat
But it was now far away, or at least no longer to be dreaded from the poison of the upas.The Castaways
Captain Mayne Reid
- a large moraceous tree of Java, Antiaria toxicaria, having whitish bark and poisonous milky sap
- the sap of this tree, used as an arrow poison
C19: from Malay: poison
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
Word Origin and History for upas
legendary poisonous tree of Java, 1783, from Malay upas "poison," in pohun upas "poison tree." The story appears to have originated in Dutch in 1770s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper