(redirected from Upas tree)
Also found in: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


1. A deciduous tree (Antiaris toxicaria) of tropical Africa and Asia that yields a latex used as an arrow poison.
2. The poison obtained from this tree or from similar trees.

[Malay (pohun) upas, poison (tree), of Javanese origin.]


1. (Plants) a large moraceous tree of Java, Antiaria toxicaria, having whitish bark and poisonous milky sap
2. (Elements & Compounds) the sap of this tree, used as an arrow poison
Also: antiar
[C19: from Malay: poison]


(ˈyu pəs)

a large tropical mulberry tree, Antiaris toxicaria, of Africa, Asia, and the Philippines, that has a milky sap used as an arrow poison.
[1775–85; < Javanese: poison]
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
He was one of those delightful, irresponsible, erratic persons whose heads thoughts of this kind do not enter, and who are about as deadly to those whose lives are bound up with theirs as a Upas tree.
When you first came upon me, sir, in the Lodge, this day, more as if a Upas tree had been made a capture of than a private defendant, such mingled streams of feelings broke loose again within me, that everything was for the first few minutes swept away before them, and I was going round and round in a vortex.
The argument developed here starts from a more adequate understanding of reality and mobilises the Indonesian upas tree to symbolise London's relation to Britain.
In the social settlement of the last thirty years in the UK, and as a structural consequence of this economic strategy, it has been finance and its associated sectors that have been the upas tree.
The readability of a volume entirely dedicated to the venenatious distillate of the Upas tree and its lesser arboreal relation, Strychnos nux-vomica, may seem at first blush questionable, but Dr Buckingham's toxicological treatise is as powerful and affecting a concentrate as the specific poison which is its subject.
The sap of the real upas tree was indeed used as an arrow poison.