Definition of poisonous in English:


Syllabification: poi·son·ous
Pronunciation: /ˈpoiz(ə)nəs


  • 1(Of a substance or plant) causing or capable of causing death or illness if taken into the body: poisonous chemicals
    More example sentences
    • The licence is available to any member of the public providing they adhere to a set of 14 conditions which include not removing soil from the land or planting any poisonous trees or shrubs on it.
    • There are no medical records anywhere in the world where people live with poisonous substances in their bodies.
    • Detoxification once referred to the process of removing some specific poisonous substance from the body.
  • 1.1(Of an animal) producing poison as a means of attacking enemies or prey; venomous: a poisonous snake
    More example sentences
    • But the hole had its dangers; if the pot broke or cracked, the guerrilla could be attacked by poisonous spiders or snakes.
    • The tropical climate can be uncomfortable and brings the inevitable insects and poisonous creatures.
    • Now, everyone knows the black snake is a poisonous creature.
  • 1.2Extremely unpleasant or malicious: there was a poisonous atmosphere at the office
    More example sentences
    • The crack was good natured throughout, a pleasing change from some of the poisonous atmospheres we have all witnessed whenever matches between historical rivals take place.
    • From its very first moments, Druick conjures up the poisonous atmosphere of a world ruled by fear and rumour where truth is merely the whim of an absolute monarch.
    • Mark Malloch Brown claims that the atmosphere is growing poisonous as insiders in the UN's headquarters in New York attempt to stall reform.



More example sentences
  • If you'd suggested - two years, a year, even two months ago - that cuneiform diaries would become a poisonously partisan issue, you'd have been laughed out of whatever chatroom you'd wandered into.
  • You will, however, have to do some digging: once to plant the seed potatoes; once to earth them up to prevent the new tubers growing on the surface and becoming poisonously green; and once to lift the resultant crop.
  • When someone says something stupid - I mean, poisonously, ludicrously stupid - the advertisers on that site have to take a stand.


Poisonous and venomous are not identical in meaning, although they are often used interchangeably. A poisonous animal or plant produces toxins that are harmful when the animal or plant is touched or eaten, whereas a venomous snake or other creature is able to inject venom by means of its fangs, spines, or stingers.

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