[n. ahr-suh-nik, ahrs-nik; adj. ahr-sen-ik]
a grayish-white element having a metallic luster, vaporizing when heated, and forming poisonous compounds. Symbol: As; atomic weight: 74.92; atomic number: 33.
a mineral, the native element, occurring in white or gray masses.
adjective, arsenic.
of or containing arsenic, especially in the pentavalent state.

1350–1400; Middle English arsenicum < Latin < Greek arsenikón orpiment, noun use of neuter of arsenikós virile (ársēn male, strong + -ikos -ic), probably alteration of Oriental word (perhaps < *arznig, metathetic variant of Syriac zarnig) by folk etymology

nonarsenic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
1.  a toxic metalloid element, existing in several allotropic forms, that occurs principally in realgar and orpiment and as the free element. It is used in transistors, lead-based alloys, and high-temperature brasses. Symbol: As; atomic no: 33; atomic wt: 74.92159; valency: --3, 0, +3, or +5; relative density: 5.73 (grey); melting pt: 817°C at a pressure of 3MN/m² (grey); sublimes at 613°C (grey)
2.  a nontechnical name for arsenic trioxide
3.  of or containing arsenic, esp in the pentavalent state
[C14: from Latin arsenicum, from Greek arsenikon yellow orpiment, from Syriac zarnīg (influenced in form by Greek arsenikos virile)]

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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. arsenic, from L. arsenicum, from Gk. arsenikon "arsenic," adapted from Syriac (al) zarniqa "arsenic," from Middle Persian zarnik "gold-colored" (arsenic trisulphide has a lemon-yellow color). The Gk. word is folk etymology, from arsen "male, strong, virile" (cf. arseno-koites "lying
with men" in N.T.) supposedly in reference to the powerful properties of the substance. The mineral (as opposed to the element) is properly orpiment, from L. auri pigmentum, so called because it was used to make golden dyes.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

arsenic ar·se·nic (är'sə-nĭk)
Symbol As
A poisonous metallic element having three allotropes, of which the gray form is the most common. Arsenic compounds are used in insecticides and solid-state doping agents. Atomic number 33; atomic weight 74.922; valence 3, 5. Gray arsenic melts at 817°C (at 28 atm pressure), sublimes at 614°C, and has a specific gravity of 5.73. adj. ar·sen·ic (är-sěn'ĭk)
Of or containing arsenic, especially with valence 5.

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
arsenic   (är'sə-nĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
Symbol As
A metalloid element most commonly occurring as a gray crystal, but also found as a yellow crystal and in other forms. Arsenic and its compounds are highly poisonous and are used to make insecticides, weed killers, and various alloys. Atomic number 33; atomic weight 74.922; valence 3, 5. Gray arsenic melts at 817°C (at 28 atm pressure), sublimes at 613°C, and has a specific gravity of 5.73. See Periodic Table.
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Example sentences
Around the corner sits the dispensary where she first encountered an array of lethal poisons, including arsenic and strychnine.
It was also applied to those who sold arsenic as a medicine.
The amount of arsenic present varies with the river's flow rate.
Mining exposed the sulfides and eventually made the tailings as acidic as
  battery acid and full of heavy metals such as arsenic.
Images for arsenic
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