Tuesday, March 23, 2010

envenom, v.

{dag}1. trans. To venom (a person, an animal); to poison by contact, bite, inoculation, etc. Also absol.

c1300 K. Alis. 5611 Addres, guiures [printed quinres], and dragouns Wolden this folk mychel and lyte, Envenymen and abite. 1340 Ayenb. 26 {Th}e eddre {th}et alenuenyme{th}. c1400 MANDEVILLE v. (1839) 54 The serpentes byten hem & envenyme hem. c1450 LONELICH Grail lii. 240 Thanne sawh he wel that envemyned he was.1535 MORE On the Passion Wks. 1274/1 Being..so sore envenomed with so mani poison spottes. 1665-6 Phil. Trans. I. 391 A Toad may envenome outwardly. 1665Flagellum; or O. Cromwell (1672) Pref., That poyson of Asps under his lips which..will envenome even those of the Species that come near it. 1725 BRADLEY Fam. Dict.s.v. Vives, Do not touch them with your Fingers, for it will invenom them.
fig. c1380 WYCLIF Sel. Wks. III. 272 Weiward disciplis, {th}at envenymyn and distroien holy Chirche. c1386 CHAUCER Wife's Prol. 474 But age, allas! that al wol envenyme. 1612 W. PARKES Curtaine Dr. (1876) 6 He in-venomes all the eares that heare him.

2. To put venom or poison on (a weapon, etc.); to taint (the air, ground, etc.) with poison; to render noxious or poisonous. Cf. ENVENOMED ppl. a.

c1325 Coer de L. 4349 Envenymyd ther takyl was. 1393 GOWER Conf. I. 234 An arwe..Whiche he to-fore had envenimed. c1450 LONELICH Grail l. 603 A knyf..the wheche envemyned was. c1500 Melusine 161 The king was wounded with a dart enuenymed by the sawdans hand. 1555 EDEN Decades W. Ind. III. IX. (Arb.) 177 The women..vse to inueneme their arrowes. 1602 SHAKES. Ham. V. ii. 332 The point envenom'd too, Then venome to thy worke. 1616 SURFL. & MARKH. Country Farm 291The Caper-tree inueniming the whole ground, and making of it barren. 1675 TRAHERNE Chr. Ethics xxvi. 405 Because the colours are envenomed wherewith he painteth his face. 1871 G. H. NAPHEYS Prev. & Cure Dis. I. ii. 73 Plants which thus envenom the sweet.

b. To infuse venom or bitterness into (actions, relations, etc.); to impart bitterness to (the feelings or words of a person); to embitter, make virulent.

1533 BELLENDEN Livy v. (1822) 395 Knaw ye nocht how thir wageis war invennomit be poisoun of inemyis. 1568 GRAFTON Chron. II. 634 Their wordes were swete as sugar, and their thoughtes were all envenomed. 1658 Lady's Call. II. §3. 87 It rather envenoms the crime and adds unnaturalness to deceit. 1859 MILL Liberty iv. 152Nothing in the..practice of Christians does more to envenom the hatred of Mahommedans. 1866 FELTON Anc. & Mod. Gr. II. viii. 424 The complicated passions that envenomed the strife.

3. fig. To impregnate with moral ‘venom’; to corrupt, vitiate.

c1374 CHAUCER Boeth. IV. iii. 120 {Th}e vtteriste wikkednesse..infecti{th} and enuenemy{th} hem gretely. c1400 Rom. Rose 7474 For men may finde alway sopheme The consequence to enveneme. c1440 Gesta Rom. ii. 7 {Th}e devill had envenemyd all mankynd. 1641 MILTON Ch. Discip. I. (1851) 19 A universall tetter of impurity had invenom'd every part. 1705 STANHOPE Paraphr. III. 433 We will hope..that no Minds so invenom'd can be found. 1883 I. TAYLOR Fanat. iv. 71 The imagination..envenomed by hatred.

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