Confusing Words

Poisonous Vs Venomous

As a lot of people have started to use poisonous in the place of venomous, the difference between these two words is slowly erasing. Many people just use these terms interchangeably without realizing that it is wrong to do so. Moreover, they also use it as synonyms for each other which is not correct. Consequently, it is important to know that there is a difference between poisonous vs venomous.

Further, the difference is worth knowing because then you will be able to showcase your vocabulary skills. Venom is basically what an animal produces to harm the other. Similarly, they usually inject it through the means of a bite or a sting. It is different than poison because poison gets absorbed or ingested. In other words, the person or animal consumes or inhales it.

On the other hand, we see that poison can be found in all three forms. These forms are solid, liquid or a gas. However, when we talk about venom, it is generally found in the liquid form only. Thus, you see that poisonous vs venomous is quite essential to learn and also use correctly in speech and writing. The similarity between poisonous and venomous is that both of them are adjectives.

Poisonous describes something which can cause death or injury it one ingests or absorbs it. For instance, we must not eat poisonous mushrooms. Alternatively, venomous describes creatures which inject their victims with a toxin. For instance, be careful when handling these fish as they are venomous. Now, let us move on to the differences, uses and examples of these two terms.

poisonous vs venomous

Difference Between Poisonous Vs Venomous

In order to remember the difference between poisonous vs venomous, you can remember this tip. Venomous is only meant to describe organisms which deliver toxins through injection.

Further, organisms which deliver toxins via other methods like simple contact or consuming, are poisonous. Moreover, other substances like chemical cleaners and substances leached by particular plastics can also be termed as poisonous.

To make things easier for you, you can keep in mind that venomous describes animals which inject a toxin, and both the terms of venomous and viper start with the letter V. So, venomous is for organisms which sting or bite. Further, poisonous is for organisms which produce toxins but will not sting or bite you.

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When/How to Use Poisonous

It is clear by now that poisonous is an adjective. Thus, we use it for describing any organisms which deliver toxins when we touch or eat it. But, it does not happen through injecting its victim with toxins.

We can use the adjective of poisonous for describing plants, animals and other substances which can cause sickness or death if we inhale, ingest or touch it. Similarly, we can also use it to describe a malicious or toxic environment or situation.

The adverb which forms from poisonous is poisonously and the noun is poisonousness. The origin of these terms dates back to the 1570s from the term poison. Thus, there is a huge difference between these terms. For instance, Poison ivy is poisonous but not venomous.

Moreover, we use it to describe other substances too and not just plants and animals. For instance, bleach is poisonous. Let us take a look at the incorrect and correct use of poisonous vs venomous to know the difference:

 Incorrect: Kenny ate a venomous frog which caused him a painful death.

Correct: Kenny ate a poisonous frog which caused him a painful death.

Incorrect: The berries growing along the garden path are venomous.

Correct: The berries growing along the garden path are poisonous.

When/How to Use Venomous

Venomous is also an adjective which we use for describing an organism that injects toxins into its victims through a sting or bites. We can also use venomous to refer to a malicious or toxic environment or situation.

The adverb form of venomous is venomously and the noun form is venomousness. The origin of this term dates back to the 1300s from the Old French Venimos. The major difference between poisonous vs venomous is the method of delivery.

In other words, the poisonous substances are delivered passively while the venomous ones are delivered through a wound inflicted by the attacking animal. When we talk about venomous animals, they are snakes, scorpions, spiders and more.

Let us take a look at the incorrect and correct use of venomous to know the difference:

 Incorrect: The poisonous scorpion hid behind the sack of rice when it was raining.

Correct: The venomous scorpion hid behind the sack of rice when it was raining.

Incorrect: Tina panicked when she found a poisonous snake in her garden.

Correct: Tina panicked when she found a venomous snake in her garden.

Examples of Poisonous – Using Poisonous in a Sentence

In order to understand the true meaning of a word, it is important to go through their examples and uses in a sentence. This not only helps in clearing things up but also makes you understand how to use them in a sentence in the correct manner. Let’s take a look at some examples:

  • Jen got a painful rash after touching the poisonous leaves of the ivy plant.
  • The ill-effects of eating a poisonous mushroom can impact your life greatly.
  • As the plant belongs to a dangerous cohort, it will probably be a poisonous one.
  • My doctor told me that eating vegetables and fruits can detoxicate poisonous substances.
  • You may give Magnesium Sulphate by mouth, but if you inject it intravenously, it will be poisonous.
  • On our way back, we saw a forest which was full of poisonous plants.
  • Are you sure that it was actually a grape and not some poisonous berry?
  • Although the sea snake found in the tropical waters is quite poisonous, it rarely bites.
  • You will notice that many travellers mentioned about the poisonous but beautiful black snake.
  • The poisonous one always lifts their heads out of the water while they swim.

Examples of Venomous – Using Venomous in a Sentence

Now, we will take a look at some examples of venomous in a sentence. By going through the use of this word in different sentences, you will be able to use it in the correct manner in the future. Moreover, it will also help you recognize the difference between poisonous vs venomous.

  • A lot of the snakes in this forest are venomous but they are not equally dreaded.
  • Even though I tried to avoid her, I ended up facing my venomous brother who was not happy to see me.
  • Scientists say that you can find venomous snakes all over the world and they even lurk in our oceans.
  • My teacher told us that the largest venomous snake is at least 16 ft long and is called King Cobra.
  • We were lucky enough to make it out safely as the snake we encountered had a highly venomous, possibly fatal bite.
  • Although the number of venomous serpents is quite high the mortality from snake-bite is quite low.
  • The Mexican Hognose snake is said to be slightly venomous but harmless to humans.
  • The cobra sank its venomous fangs into his hand which made him cry in pain.
  • Animals like snakes and spiders are known to inject venoms for immobilizing and killing their prey.
  • Venomous snakes tend to spit and hiss when you corner them.
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