Meaning of “poison” in the English Dictionary

"poison" in British English

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poisonnoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈpɔɪ.zən/ us /ˈpɔɪ.zən/

B2 a substance that can make people or animals ill or kill them if they eat or drink it:

The pest control officer put bowls of rat poison in the attic.
Her drink had been laced with a deadly poison.

More examples

  • Bottles of lemonade doctored with rat poison were discovered in the kitchen.
  • Forensic examination revealed a large quantity of poison in the dead man's stomach.
  • The giraffe was killed with a spear that had been tipped with poison.
  • Arsenic is a deadly poison that takes immediate effect.
  • a phial of poison

poisonverb [ T ]

uk /ˈpɔɪ.zən/ us /ˈpɔɪ.zən/

(Definition of “poison” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"poison" in American English

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us /ˈpɔɪ·zən/

poison noun (SUBSTANCE)

[ C/U ] a substance that causes illness or death if swallowed, absorbed, or breathed into the body:

[ U ] poison gas
[ C ] Some cleaning products are poisons.
[ U ] He sprayed the weeds with poison.
adjective us /ˈpɔɪ·zə·nəs/

The mushrooms they picked were poisonous.

poisonverb [ T ]

us /ˈpɔɪ·zən/

poison verb [ T ] (CAUSE HARM)

to cause serious harm to something:

Jealousy poisoned our relationship.
I don’t see why you think TV poisons people’s minds (= influences them in a bad way).

poison verb [ T ] (SUBSTANCE)

to cause a person or animal to take in poison, or to add poison to food or a liquid:

He thinks someone is trying to poison him.
Her tea was poisoned.

(Definition of “poison” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)