As the title says, poison is to poisoned as venom is to what?

I tried looking up venomed but it means something different.

Is there such a word?

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    No. It's envenomed. – Robusto Feb 5 '12 at 20:13
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    @Pubby: Your question has been asked on yahoo. There are a lot of interesting answers there. – Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 5 '12 at 20:17
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    @Robusto: Poisoned can mean that, sure. But poisoned also means "rendered ill by poison". Envenomed does not have that meaning, does it? – Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 5 '12 at 20:26
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    To clarify, I was asking about the illness. I should have been more clear in the post, although having both answers is still useful. – Pubby Feb 5 '12 at 20:29
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    The question is pointless. Just because venom exists as a particular subset of "types of poison" doesn't mean there should be a special word for poisoned by venom as opposed to poisoned by any other substance apart from venom. – FumbleFingers Feb 5 '12 at 21:23

Actually, venomed exists and you can find it here. In literature I have seen the expression venomed arrows, meaning covered with venom, but according to this source it also means poisoned as the past participle of the verb venom.

  • I said in my answer that I haven't seen venomed use as a verb but I think you've made a good point! – Rachel Feb 6 '12 at 0:21

In biology, the term envenomated (past participle of envenomate) is used for this; Google Books turns up uses like:

  • Distribution of Venoms in Envenomated Animals
  • Called strike-induced chemosensory searching (SICS), this phenomenon facilitates location of an envenomated rodent which might wander several meters from the snake after the strike.
  • The first experience is receiving a dry bite and not being envenomated at all.

That said, I think I'd only use envenomated if the venom is actually delivered by a venomous animal (especially a snake, via bite). If, say, someone were to extract snake venom and use it to poison someone's drink, I think the recipient would be poisoned, not "envenomated".

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    'envenomate' seems too long a word. The prefix 'en-' and the suffix '-ate' appear to perform the same function. I prefer 'envenom'. – Barry Brown Jul 1 '12 at 22:28

To envenom someone or something is to make it poisonous or to add poison to it. So, if using poison in the figurative sense of fouling, embittering, spoiling, etc. it would be acceptable, as in envenoming a relationship. It would not be suitable when using poison in the sense of murdering someone by poison, or adulterating something lethally.

  • I assumed (perhaps too presumptuously) that poison was being used in its obvious sense (that is 'to poison' as a snake would poison a child or as murderer would poison his/her victim). My interpretation of the word 'poison' found that 'venom' could also be a verb meaning the same as 'poison' in that context but that this use of 'venom' was archaic so we wouldn't make the comparison. However, I think your response points out that a comparison can be made if we are using 'poison' in a different sense (that is 'to envenom'). The answer may depend on the context in which the phrase is being used. – Rachel Feb 6 '12 at 0:30
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    "The point envenomed too! Then, venom, to thy work." – Nate Eldredge Feb 6 '12 at 4:16

The way I see it is that 'venom' and 'poison' are both nouns. They are also both verbs; however, in reality, we don't actually hear 'vemon' used as a verb. Some dictionary entries depict 'venom' only as a noun (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/venom) whereas those that depict 'venom' also as a verb tend to state that its usage as a verb is archaic (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/venom).

What I am getting at is that when we say 'poison is to poisoned' we are talking about 'poison' as a verb. Technically you could say 'as venom is to venomed' (http://verbs.woxikon.com/english-verbforms/venom.php); however, since 'venom' is only ever used as a noun, we are attempting to compare a verb ('poison') and a noun ('venom') in a manner that is incomparable. I cannot think of one native English speaker I know who would have ever heard the word 'venomed'. So whilst it may be grammatically correct, I don't think that you would draw this comparison if your comparison is related to usage as as opposed to grammatical technicalities (Thus, I look to usage to answer your question not to the few authorities that stipulate that 'venom' is an archaic verb.)

Some responses have mentioned the adjectives 'poisonous' and 'venomous'. We could indeed say that, 'poison is to poisonous as venom is to venomous' (noun --> adjective, noun --> adjective) since they are both nouns in the first instance (as opposed to 'poison' as a verb and 'venom' as a noun which is my interpretation of the phrase in question).

  • I know I've seen venomed once or twice before; but it's definitely not normal/common usage. – Dan is Fiddling by Firelight May 10 '12 at 15:25

In the common usage, whereas if a person ingested poison he would be said to have been poisoned, if he received venom the perfect participle would depend on the delivery system: bitten by a snake, spider or biting insect, stung by a bee or scorpion or stinging insect.

  • Or just "poisoned" – Oldcat Mar 21 '14 at 0:07
  • @Oldcat not if you want to differentiate between lethal ingestion and toxic injection by an animal of some kind. – Brian J. Fink Mar 21 '14 at 22:21

Venomous - For example, a venomous snake.

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    poison is to poisoned as venom is to venomous? I don't think so... – Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 5 '12 at 20:44
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    Well, certainly not venomed. Not in modern usage. Poison and Venom are both nouns. Poisoned could be the simple past or the past participle. In the present case, it appears to be the past participle, which can also serve as an adjective. For practical purposes, its use as the past participle is very limited. Thus, I'd treat it as an adjective. If we accept "poisoned" as an adjective (poisoned minds), then we can equally accept venomous as a corresponding adjective (venomous minds). – Jack Robbin Feb 5 '12 at 21:15
  • @Jack: Good point about the "adjectival" use. As for the past tense verb, the short answer is you're poisoned by venom – FumbleFingers Feb 5 '12 at 21:27
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    @Jack: The OP has specifically mentioned (in the comments) that he was talking about the illness (i.e. poisoned = rendered ill by poison) – Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 5 '12 at 21:51
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    @Armen Tsirunyan - That doesn't change the fact that a venomous mind and a poisoned mind are one and the same. Both arise from an illness (i.e. venomous = rendered ill by venom). – Jack Robbin Feb 5 '12 at 22:03

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