[ ven-uhm ]
/ ˈvɛn əm /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: venom / venomed / venoming on Thesaurus.com

the poisonous fluid that some animals, as certain snakes and spiders, secrete and introduce into the bodies of their victims by biting, stinging, etc.
something resembling or suggesting poison in its effect; spite; malice: the venom of jealousy.
Archaic. poison in general.
verb (used with object)
Archaic. to make venomous; envenom.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of venom

First recorded in 1175–1225; variant of Middle English venim, from Anglo-French; Old French venim, venin, from (unattested) Vulgar Latin venīmen, for Latin venēnum “magical herb or potion, poison,” from (unattested) wenes-nom, equivalent to (unattested) wenes- desire (see venerate, Venus) + (unattested) -nom noun suffix

synonym study for venom

1. See poison.


ven·om·less, adjectiveoutvenom, verb (used with object)un·ven·omed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use venom in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for venom

/ (ˈvɛnəm) /

a poisonous fluid secreted by such animals as certain snakes and scorpions and usually transmitted by a bite or sting
malice; spite

Derived forms of venom

venomless, adjectivevenomous, adjectivevenomously, adverbvenomousness, noun

Word Origin for venom

C13: from Old French venim, from Latin venēnum poison, love potion; related to venus sexual love
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

Medical definitions for venom

[ vĕnəm ]

A poisonous secretion of an animal, such as a snake, spider, or scorpion, usually transmitted by a bite or sting.
A poison.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for venom

[ vĕnəm ]

Any of various poisonous substances secreted by certain snakes, spiders, scorpions, and insects and transmitted to a victim by a bite or sting. Venoms are highly concentrated fluids that typically consist of dozens or hundreds of powerful enzymes, peptides, and smaller organic compounds. These compounds target and disable specific chemicals in the victim, damaging cellular and organ system function. Snake venoms, for example, contain substances that block platelet aggregation (causing bleeding) and that prevent the release of acetylcholine by nerve endings (causing muscle paralysis). Many substances contained in venoms are under investigation for use as pharmaceuticals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.