formic acid

noun Chemistry, Pharmacology.
a colorless, irritating, fuming, water-soluble liquid, CH 2 O 2 , originally obtained from ants and now manufactured synthetically, used in dyeing and tanning and in medicine chiefly as a counterirritant and astringent.

Origin:
1785–95

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To formic acid
Collins
World English Dictionary
formic acid
 
n
Systematic name: methanoic acid a colourless corrosive liquid carboxylic acid found in some insects, esp ants, and many plants: used in dyeing textiles and the manufacture of insecticides and refrigerants. Formula: HCOOH

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

formic acid
1791, coined from L. formica "ant;" so called because it was obtained from red ants.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

formic acid for·mic acid (fôr'mĭk)
n.
A colorless caustic fuming liquid used in dyeing and finishing textiles and paper and in the manufacture of fumigants, insecticides, and refrigerants.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
formic acid   (fôr'mĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
A colorless, caustic, fuming liquid that occurs naturally as the poison of ants and stinging nettles. It is used in making textiles and paper and in insecticides. Formic acid is the simplest organic acid, containing a carboxyl (COOH) group attached to a hydrogen. Chemical formula: CH2O2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Perhaps, he said, those plants have a defense against formic acid or are in
  some other way fooling the ants.
New research shows that formic acid could be used as a safe, easy-to-transport
  source of hydrogen for fuel cells.
Refilling the fuel cell by hand is impractical for formic acid or even methanol.
That's what's left when formic acid loses a hydrogen ion.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature