Poison, venom, virus, toxin, bane mean matter or a substance that when present in an organism or introduced into it produces an injurious or deadly effect.
Poison is the most inclusive of these words and is applicable to any deadly or noxious substance whether introduced into or produced within the body of an organism. In extended use poison applies to whatever is felt to have the destructive effect of a physical poison.
Venom basically means a fluid containing a poison secreted by an animal (as a snake, scorpion, or bee) and injected into another animal during offensive or defensive action, usually by a bite or sting. The term is occasionally extended to a poisonous secretion of a plant and in more general extended use applies especially to states of mind or utterances that are felt to have the malign quality of an animal venom.
Virus (see also GERM ), once equivalent to venom, retains this value only in extended use and then applies to something felt to have a corrupting quality that can poison the mind or spirit.
Toxin applies to a complex organic poison that is a product of the metabolic activities of a living organism, is extremely poisonous when introduced into the tissues but usually destroyed by the digestive juices, and is usually able to induce antibody formation.
Bane may apply to any cause of ruin, destruction, or tribulation and in compounds denotes poison or something (as a plant) containing poison.