from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A substance that causes injury, illness, or death, especially by chemical means.
  • n. Something destructive or fatal.
  • n. Chemistry & Physics A substance that inhibits another substance or a reaction: a catalyst poison.
  • transitive v. To kill or harm with poison.
  • transitive v. To put poison on or into: poisoning arrows; poisoned the drink.
  • transitive v. To pollute: Noxious fumes poison the air. See Synonyms at contaminate.
  • transitive v. To have a harmful influence on; corrupt: Jealousy poisoned their friendship.
  • transitive v. Chemistry & Physics To inhibit (a substance or reaction).
  • adj. Poisonous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A substance that is harmful or lethal to a living organism.
  • n. Something that harms a person or thing.
  • n. A drink; liquor.
  • v. To use poison to kill or paralyse somebody
  • v. To pollute; to cause some part of the environment to become poisonous
  • v. To cause something to become much worse
  • v. To cause someone to hate or to have unfair negative opinions

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any agent which, when introduced into the animal organism, is capable of producing a morbid, noxious, or deadly effect upon it
  • n. That which taints or destroys moral purity or health
  • intransitive v. To act as, or convey, a poison.
  • transitive v. To put poison upon or into; to infect with poison
  • transitive v. To injure or kill by poison; to administer poison to.
  • transitive v. To taint; to corrupt; to vitiate

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To infect with poison; put poison into or upon; add poison to: as, to poison an arrow.
  • To administer poison to; attack, injure, or kill by poison.
  • To taint; mar; impair; vitiate; corrupt.
  • n. A drink; a draught; a potion.
  • n. Any substance which, introduced into the living organism directly, tends to destroy the life or impair the health of that organism.
  • n. Hence, that which taints or destroys moral purity or health or comfort: as, the poison of evil example.
  • n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. add poison to
  • v. administer poison to
  • n. anything that harms or destroys
  • v. kill with poison
  • n. any substance that causes injury or illness or death of a living organism
  • v. kill by its poison
  • v. spoil as if by poison


Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pōtiō, pōtiōn-, drink.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French poison, from Latin pōtio, pōtiōnis, from pōtō. See also potion and potable. (Wiktionary)


Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.