1. To balance; to make of equal weight; as, to poise the scales of a balance.
2. To hold or place in equilibrium or equiponderance.
Nor yet was earth suspended in the sky;Dryden.
Nor poised, did on her own foundation lie.
3. To counterpoise; to counterbalance.
One scale of reason to poise another of sensuality.Shak.
To poise with solid sense a sprightly wit.Dryden.
4. To ascertain, as by the balance; to weigh.
He can not sincerely consider the strength, poise the weight, and discern the evidence.South.
5. To weigh (down); to oppress. [Obs.]
Lest leaden slumber peise me down to- morrow.Shak.
(Poise), v. i. To hang in equilibrium; to be balanced or suspended; hence, to be in suspense or
The slender, graceful sparsLongfellow.
Poise aloft in air.
(Pois"er) n. (Zoöl.) The balancer of dipterous insects.
(Poi"son) n. [F. poison, in Old French also, a potion, fr. L. potio a drink, draught, potion, a
poisonous draught, fr. potare to drink. See Potable, and cf. Potion.]
1. Any agent which, when introduced into the animal organism, is capable of producing a morbid, noxious,
or deadly effect upon it; as, morphine is a deadly poison; the poison of pestilential diseases.
2. That which taints or destroys moral purity or health; as, the poison of evil example; the poison of sin.
Poison ash. (Bot.) (a) A tree of the genus Amyris (A. balsamifera) found in the West Indies, from
the trunk of which a black liquor distills, supposed to have poisonous qualities. (b) The poison sumac
(Rhus venenata). [U. S.] Poison dogwood (Bot.), poison sumac. Poison fang (Zoöl.), one of
the superior maxillary teeth of some species of serpents, which, besides having the cavity for the pulp,
is either perforated or grooved by a longitudinal canal, at the lower end of which the duct of the poison
gland terminates. See Illust. under Fang. Poison gland (Biol.), a gland, in animals or plants,
which secretes an acrid or venomous matter, that is conveyed along an organ capable of inflicting a
wound. Poison hemlock (Bot.), a poisonous umbelliferous plant See Hemlock. Poison ivy
(Bot.), a poisonous climbing plant (Rhus Toxicodendron) of North America. It is common on stone walls
and on the trunks of trees, and has trifoliate, rhombic-ovate, variously notched leaves. Many people are
poisoned by it, if they touch the leaves. See Poison sumac. Called also poison oak, and mercury.
Poison nut. (Bot.) (a) Nux vomica. (b) The tree which yields this seed It is found on the Malabar
and Coromandel coasts. Poison oak (Bot.), the poison ivy; also, the more shrubby Rhus diversiloba
of California and Oregon. Poison sac. (Zoöl.) Same as Poison gland, above. See Illust. under
Fang. Poison sumac (Bot.), a poisonous shrub of the genus Rhus (R. venenata); also called
poison ash, poison dogwood, and poison elder. It has pinnate leaves on graceful and slender common
petioles, and usually grows in swampy places. Both this plant and the poison ivy (Rhus Toxicodendron)
have clusters of smooth greenish white berries, while the red-fruited species of this genus are harmless.
The tree (Rhus vernicifera) which yields the celebrated Japan lacquer is almost identical with the poison
sumac, and is also very poisonous. The juice of the poison sumac also forms a lacquer similar to that