Definition of poison noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpɔɪzn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɔɪzn//
    [countable, uncountable]
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  1. 1  a substance that causes death or harm if it is swallowed or absorbed into the body Some mushrooms contain a deadly poison. How did he die? Was it poison? The dog was killed by rat poison (= poison intended to kill rats). to hunt with poison arrows bombs containing poison gas
  2. 2an idea, a feeling, etc. that is extremely harmful the poison of racial hatred
  3. Word OriginMiddle English (denoting a harmful medicinal draught): from Old French poison ‘magic potion’, from Latin potio(n-) ‘potion’, related to potare ‘to drink’.Extra examples She had laced his drink with poison. She had put poison in his wine. The farmer had put down some rat poison. These words were pure poison to me. groups that are spreading the poison of sectarianism The dog was killed by rat poison. poison gasIdioms
    one man’s meat is another man’s poison
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    (saying) used to say that different people like different things; what one person likes very much, another person does not like at all
    (informal, humorous) used to ask somebody what alcoholic drink they would like
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: poison