From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishpoisonpoi‧son1 /ˈpɔɪzən/ ●●○ noun 1 [countable, uncountable]DHARM/BE BAD FOR a substance that can cause death or serious illness if you eat it, drink it etc Belladonna and red arsenic are deadly poisons. a box of rat poison (=poison to kill rats) He swallowed some type of poison.2 HARM/BE BAD FOR[countable] something such as an emotion or idea that makes you behave badly or become very unhappy Hatred is a poison that will destroy your life.3 → what’s your poison? → one man’s meat is another man’s poison at meat(4)COLLOCATIONSverbstake/swallow poisonHe committed suicide by taking poison.give somebody poisonShe admitted two charges of giving poison to her daughter.administer poison formal (=give it to someone)He could not have administered the poison that had put Mark in a coma.put poison in somethingShe put poison in his wine.lace something with poison (=put poison in something)He laced the emperor's tea with poison.put poison down (=put it somewhere to kill an animal)One way of getting rid of rats or mice is to put poison down.adjectivesa deadly poisonThe berries contain a deadly poison.a slow-acting/quick-acting poisonCyanide is a very strong, quick-acting poison.a virulent poison (=one that makes someone very ill or kills them)Scorpions produce a virulent poison.phrasesa dose of poison (=an amount of poison)He had taken a massive dose of poison.a trace of poison (=a small amount of poison that is still present somewhere)Traces of the poison were found in the family car.
Examples from the Corpuspoison• Nationalism is a poison that has caused much suffering.• Villagers could have been sitting on a chemical poison with untold consequences to health.• The circuitry was composed of electric eels, and there were colorful fish and liquid poisons and numerous examples of evil.• One side of the apple was white and had no poison.• He wore a white uniform and carried a spray can of poison with a long wand.• But then the truth about the massive doses of poison which Allitt administered to those babies in her care was uncovered.• At the camp, the doctor gave me a choice: rat poison or the stick.• The child was rushed to the hospital after eating rat poison.• Stay calm and keep the child calm: panic speeds poison absorption.• Cyanide fishermen learn exactly where and when grouper go to spawn; they then squirt their poison with practiced precision.rat poison• He said he only wanted to kill himself and claimed he ate rat poison and planned to inhale car exhaust fumes.• At the camp, the doctor gave me a choice: rat poison or the stick.• Gullible hadn't been driving a great big lorry around the place and putting down rat poison.• Somewhere in Ohio a doctor has been jailed for feeding rat poison to his colleagues.• She gave him rat poison and then she took him out back and she had Howard bury him in her garden.• At first I jumped like a kid without hamstrings who had ingested rat poison for breakfast.• Just himself and Eloise, a cleaver, a gun, a spoonful of rat poison.• The rat poison and insecticide was taken from a van at Farm lane in Crawley near Witney.poisonpoison2 ●○○ verb [transitive] 1 HARM/BE BAD FORKILLto give someone poison, especially by adding it to their food or drink, in order to harm or kill them She was accused in 1974 of poisoning her second husband, Charles. He killed several people by poisoning their tea.poison somebody with something Helms attempted to poison his whole family with strychnine.2 if a substance poisons someone, it makes them sick or kills them Thousands of children were poisoned by radiation.3 SGPDIRTYto make land, rivers, air etc dirty and dangerous, especially by the use of harmful chemicals Pesticides are poisoning our rivers.4 HARM/BE BAD FORto have very harmful and unpleasant effects on someone’s mind, emotions, or a situation Her childhood had been poisoned by an abusive stepfather. The law will only serve to poison relations between the US and Mexico. Television violence is poisoning the minds of young people.► see thesaurus at spoil5 → poisoned chalice —poisoner noun [countable]→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpuspoison• The yeast must be pure, or the stars would be poisoned.• A small amount of lead paint can severely poison a child.• Our marriage was poisoned by mistrust, deceit and jealousy.• Seabirds are being poisoned by toxins in the water.• In a short time, his appointment has come to look like a poisoned chalice.• She plotted a new method to kill Snow White: with a poisoned comb.• For over a year, Jane fought against the cancer that had poisoned her blood.• Hill poisoned her husband and daughter for the insurance money.• He believed that somebody was trying to poison him.• Steven thought that someone had poisoned his food.• He sacrificed the end, doubtful in any case at that time, be-cause bad means would poison it.• Kendall believes that sex on TV is poisoning our children's minds.• It ventured forth only to kill cattle or flatten crops, poisoning the air with its fetid breath.• Chemical waste has poisoned the city's water supply.• She had already poisoned three members of her own family with arsenic.• When they toasted, she exchanged her cup for his, and he drained the poisoned wine.poison somebody with something• Two of the victims had been poisoned with arsenic.Origin poison1 (1200-1300) Old French “drink, poisonous drink, poison”, from Latin potio; → POTION