poison pen


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poison pen

1. adjective (hyphenated and used before a noun) Spiteful, malicious, or defamatory in composition, as of a letter or other written work, generally sent anonymously and with the aim of damaging or destroying a person's, group's, or organization's reputation or happiness. After agreeing to defend the alleged mass-murderer, the public defendant began receiving a large number of poison-pen letters from around the city. We've had enough trouble getting this restaurant up and running without having a poison-pen review like that in the papers!
2. adjective (hyphenated and used before a noun) Characterized by, typified by, or inclined toward the writing and sending of such letters or pieces of writing. The outspoken feminist figure has been the target of a hateful poison-pen campaign by online misogynists who have hidden behind the shield of anonymity to conduct their attacks.
3. noun A disposition, attitude, inclination, or ability typified by the writing and sending such letters or pieces of writing. Every year or so, there is a new piece of diatribe and vitriol from the poison pen of the infamous white supremacist. The poison pen of the oft-feared but well-respected critic has been enough to cause the downfall of more than one virtuoso's career.
See also: pen, poison
References in periodicals archive ?
That's the name of a play - where the audience is part of the plot - that the Poison Pen Players will be putting on around the holidays in Florence, Eugene, Elkton and Coos Bay.
Over at the New York Times, Deborah Blum has inaugurated a new column about chemistry called Poison Pen - and today she is investigating a recent study on metals in lipstick.
But it seems she's never given much thought to what the groom got up to following the disastrous ceremony, until she receives a poison pen letter asking her if she knows what her husband got up to on Christmas night.
It was only after the couple broke up that Dhalla started showing his true colours through threats, including poison pen letters, arson and a hit man, to try to win her back.
A DAD has received a threatening poison pen letter telling him the religious paintings outside his home were an "abomination" and to take them down.
John Spence has posted poison pen letters to the families of the two people he believes are responsible for the fire that killed his two daughters - a crime his son was convicted for.
POLICE are investigating claims that comedian Catherine Tate was targeted by a poison pen letter writer.
HOAXERS and poison pen letter writers took a cruel toll on Vicky's already suffering family.
ALLAN Sartori, the proprietor of Broad Street's Rocket Club, is the hapless victim of that old fashioned cudgel, the poison pen letter.
Poison pen The letter, left, sent to the chair of governors at Honley Infant and Nursery School and, right, headteacher Christine Lancaster who says the school has been flooded with letters of support for their Muslim teacher
CAMILLA It's not what blissfully happy new brides usually have to contend with, but the Prince of Wales's wife is having to deal with poison pen letters sent to Clarence House criticising the royal union
This time, someone is sending poison pen letters to townspeople, which leads to the murder and apparent suicides of some well-known folk.
That may explain where BFI gets the chutzpah to send City Hall a poison pen note like this one.
Houllier, who has suffered major heart problems, poison pen letters and, most recently, death threats, seems determined to protect his under- achieving players from the flak.
Police have been called in to track down the author of a string of poison pen letters attacking a Staffordshire clergyman.