[poi-zuh n]


verb (used with object)


causing poisoning; poisonous: a poison shrub.

Nearby words

  1. poised,
  2. poiser,
  3. poiseuille's law,
  4. poiseuille's space,
  5. poisha,
  6. poison bean,
  7. poison dogwood,
  8. poison gas,
  9. poison haw,
  10. poison hemlock

Origin of poison

1200–50; Middle English puisun < Old French < Latin pōtiōn- (stem of pōtiō) drink, potion, poisonous draught

1. Poison, toxin, venom are terms for any substance that injures the health or destroys life when absorbed into the system, especially of a higher animal. Poison is the general word: a poison for insects. A toxin is a poison produced by an organism; it is especially used in medicine in reference to disease-causing bacterial secretions: A toxin produces diphtheria. Venom is especially used of the poisons secreted by certain animals, usually injected by bite or sting: the venom of a snake. 7. contaminate, pollute, taint.

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for poisoner

British Dictionary definitions for poisoner



any substance that can impair function, cause structural damage, or otherwise injure the bodyRelated adjective: toxic
something that destroys, corrupts, etcthe poison of fascism
a substance that retards a chemical reaction or destroys or inhibits the activity of a catalyst
a substance that absorbs neutrons in a nuclear reactor and thus slows down the reaction. It may be added deliberately or formed during fission
what's your poison? informal what would you like to drink?

verb (tr)

to give poison to (a person or animal) esp with intent to kill
to add poison to
to taint or infect with or as if with poison
(foll by against) to turn (a person's mind) againsthe poisoned her mind against me
to retard or stop (a chemical or nuclear reaction) by the action of a poison
to inhibit or destroy (the activity of a catalyst) by the action of a poison
Derived Formspoisoner, noun

Word Origin for poison

C13: from Old French puison potion, from Latin pōtiō a drink, esp a poisonous one, from pōtāre to drink

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 poisoner
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for poisoner




A substance taken internally or applied externally that is injurious to health or dangerous to life.
A chemical substance that inhibits another substance or a reaction.


To kill or harm with poison.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with poisoner


In addition to the idiom beginning with poison

, also see

  • one man's meat is another man's poison


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.