- 1A substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed: he killed himself with poison [count noun]: strong chemical poisonsMore example sentences
- Second-hand smoke contains about 4,000 chemicals, 200 poisons, and over 40 cancer-causing compounds.
- Because of ‘chemical drift’ those poisons are carried by the wind into towns and cities.
- The idea of using ‘friendly’ bacteria to combat poisons has been around for a number of years and is already used in animals such as pigs and chickens.
- 1.3Something that has a destructive or corrupting influence: the late 1930s, when Nazism was spreading its poisonMore example sentences
- Keynes' dream to overthrow the classical order of Adam Smith was greatly influenced by Marx's poison.
- Stupid laws contaminate those charged with enforcing them at the first level and then become exponentially more costly as their poison spreads through other layers of the economy.
- It takes no time at all for them to spread their poison and to implicate others in what they have done, if only by coverup.
verb[with object] Back to top
- 1Administer poison to (a person or animal), either deliberately or accidentally: he tried to poison his wife (as noun poisoning) symptoms of poisoning may include nausea, diarrhoea, and vomitingMore example sentences
administer poison to, give poison to; murder
- He tried to poison us like lower animals, like the mice that pester storybook villages, the insects that fly around the heads of those that I read about.
- Towards the end, as he's dying of an undefined illness, we realize he picks up chicks by poisoning their pets but acting so super nice and stuff.
- The snake's venom poisoned the wolf and raven's blood.
- 1.1Adulterate or contaminate with poison: the Amazon basin is being poisoned by the mercury used by gold prospectorsMore example sentences
- On the Australian mainland, they killed them by giving them poisoned food and clothing contaminated by diseases they had never before experienced.
- Scary reports are all over the media here in southern California about some nutball who poisoned some baby food.
- In June 2002, following threats that their food would be poisoned, the men were unable to eat for a period of seven days.
- 1.2 (usually as adjective poisoned) Treat (a weapon or missile) with poison in order to augment its lethal effect: poisoned arrowsMore example sentences
- But this is still not all there is in combat, as you can poison your weapons or arrows to do even more damage.
- The Sultan's army was primarily light cavalry armed with crossbows that shot poisoned arrows.
- I was especially wary of them this time, now that I knew their swords were poisoned, and dodged them as they attempted to advance on me.
- 1.3Prove harmful or destructive to: his disgust had poisoned his attitude toward everyoneMore example sentences
- And, if your opponent is indeed guilty of abusing those around him: It won't be long before he fatally poisons his campaign with destructive behavior.
- But I simply cannot remain silent and sit here and listen when a party that is trying to attain power at any cost poisons the relationship between the two peoples of this country.
- Their bitterness poisons their attitude and their outlook on life.
- 1.4 Chemistry (Of a substance) reduce the activity of (a catalyst).More example sentences
- The cells worked well initially, but any traces of carbon monoxide in the hydrogen fuel quickly poisoned the catalyst.
- The catalysts are easily poisoned by lead, however, which clogs their reactive surfaces.
- And that soaks into tissue very readily, with the acid part doing its damage along the way, and the fluoride merrily poisoning enzymes and wreaking havoc.
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- Popular, because of its availability, with Victorian poisoners, arsenic also caused some spectacular accidental mass poisonings, notably the Bradford Poisoning.
- Enforcement agencies and wildlife groups have formed a special unit to track down poisoners responsible for the ‘mindless killing’ of red kites following their re-introduction in Yorkshire.
- Capsules derived from mussels and garlic have exceeded the legal food limit for arsenic, traditionally used by poisoners.
Middle English (denoting a harmful medicinal draught): from Old French poison 'magic potion', from Latin potio(n-) 'potion', related to potare 'to drink'.