Dictionary: POINT'ER – POKE

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  1. Any thing that points.
  2. The hand of a time-piece. – Watts.
  3. A dog that points out the game to sportsmen. – Gay.


  1. The art of making the divisions of a writing; punctuation.
  2. The state of being pointed with marks or points.


  1. Directing the finger; showing; directing.
  2. Marking with points; as a writing.
  3. Filling the joints and crevices of a wall with mortar or cement.


An object of ridicule or scorn. – Shak.


  1. Having no point; blunt; obtuse; as, a pointless sword.
  2. Having no smartness or keenness.

POISE, n. [poiz; W. pwys, weight; Arm. poes; Fr. poids. See the Verb.]

  1. Weight; gravity; that which causes a body to descend or tend to the center. Spenser.
  2. The weight or mass of metal used in weighing with steelyards, to balance the substance weighed.
  3. Balance; equilibrium; a state in which things are balanced by equal weight or power; equipoise. The mind may rest in a poise between two opinions. The particles forming the earth, must convene from all quarters toward the middle, which would make the whole compound rest in a poise. – Bentley.
  4. A regulating power; that which balances. Men of an unbounded imagination often want the poise of judgment. – Dryden.

POISE, v.t. [poiz; W. pwysaw, to throw down, to press, to lean or incline, to weigh; Arm. poesa; It. pesare; Sp. and Port. pesar; Corn. puza; Fr. peser.]

  1. To balance in weight; to make of equal weight; as, to poise the scales of a balance.
  2. To hold or place in equilibrium or equiponderance. Our nation with united interest blest, / Not now content to poise, shall sway the rest. – Dryden.
  3. To load with weight for balancing. Where could they find another form so fit, / To poise with solid sense a sprightly wit? – Dryden.
  4. To examine or ascertain, as by the balance; to weigh. He can not consider the strength, poise the weight, and discern the evidence of the clearest argumentations, where they would conclude against his desires. – South.
  5. To oppress; to weigh down. Lest leaden slumber poise me down to-morrow, / When I should mount on wings of victory. – Shak.

POIS'ED, pp.

Balanced; made equal in weight; resting in equilibrium.

POIS'ING, ppr.


POI-SON, n. [poiz'n; Fr. poison; Arm. empoesoun, pouison; Sp. ponzoña; Port. peçonha. Qu. its alliance to L. pus. See Class Bs, No. 25.]

  1. Any agent capable of producing a morbid, noxious, or dangerous effect upon any thing endowed with life. All medicines possessing sufficient activity to be of much value, are always poisons in inordinate or excessive quantities; and every thing poisonous is capable of proving medicinal in suitably reduced quantities. The ancient Greeks employed the same word, both for a medicine and a poison. There are as many different modes in which poisons operate as there are different and distinct medicinal powers of any material activity. According to the popular notion, those articles only are poisonous, which are capable of producing morbid, noxious, or dangerous effects, in comparatively small quantities; but there is no just foundation for such a distinction.
  2. Any thing infectious or malignant; as, the poison of pestilential diseases.
  3. That which taints or destroys moral purity or health; as, the poison of evil example; the poison of sin. – South.

POIS'ON, v.t.

  1. To infect with any thing fatal to life; as, to poison an arrow.
  2. To attack, injure or kill by poison. He was so discouraged that he poisoned himself and died. – 2 Macc.
  3. To taint; to mar; to impair; as, discontent poisons the happiness of life. Hast thou not / With thy false arts poison'd his people's loyalty? Rowe.
  4. To corrupt. Our youth are poisoned with false notions of honor, or with pernicious maxims of government. To suffer the thoughts to be vitiated, is to poison the fountains of morality. – Rambler.


That can be poisoned.


Infected or destroyed by poison.


One who poisons or corrupts; that which corrupts.


Replete with poison.


Infecting with poison; corrupting.


Having the qualities of poison; corrupting; impairing soundness or purity.


With fatal or injurious effects.


The quality of being fatal or injurious to health and soundness.


A tree that poisons. This name is given to Rhus-venenata or Swamp-sumac, Rhus-toxicodendron or Climbing-sumac, and Rhus-pumila or Dwarf-sumac of the United States; to Rhus-vernicifera or the Varnish-sumac, and Rhus-succedanea of Japan; to Rhus-perniciosa, Rhus-juglandifolia, and Hippomane-mancinella or Manchioneel tree of South America; to Strychnos-tieuté and Antiaris-toxicaria, the two Bohun Upas of Java, &c. All of these are valuable medicines. The active principle of the most active of the poison trees of Java, has long been kept in the shops, and is extensively used by physicians.

POI'TREL, n. [Fr. poitrail, from L. pectorale, from pectus, the breast.]

  1. Armor for the breast. – Skinner.
  2. A graving tool. [Qu. pointel.] – Ainsworth.

POIZE, n. [or v.]

A common spelling of poise. [See Poise.]


The popular name of a plant, the Phytolacca decandra, otherwise called pocan, cocum and garget, of North America. As a medicine, it has emetic, cathartic, narcotic, and even more important qualities, and it has had some reputation as a remedy for rheumatism, &c.

POKE, n.1 [Sax. pocca, poha; Fr. poche, a pouch or bag.]

A pocket; a small bag; as, a pig in a poke. – Camden. Spectator.

POKE, n.2

In New England, a machine to prevent unruly beasts from leaping fences, consisting of a yoke with a pole inserted, pointing forward.