hydrogen cyanide

noun
a colorless poisonous gas, HCN, having a bitter almondlike odor: in aqueous solution it forms hydrocyanic acid.

Origin:
1880–85

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To hydrogen cyanide
Collins
World English Dictionary
hydrogen cyanide
 
n
Also called: hydrocyanic acid a colourless poisonous liquid with a faint odour of bitter almonds, usually made by a catalysed reaction between ammonia, oxygen, and methane. It forms prussic acid in aqueous solution and is used for making plastics and dyes and as a war gas. Formula: HCN

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
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

hydrogen cyanide n.
A colorless, volatile, extremely poisonous flammable liquid miscible in water and used in the manufacture of dyes and fumigants.

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
hydrogen cyanide  
A colorless, flammable, extremely poisonous liquid. Salts derived from it have many industrial uses, such as hardening iron and steel, extracting metals from ores, electroplating metallic surfaces, and making acrylonitrile, from which acrylic fibers and plastics are produced. It is also used to make dyes and poisons. A solution of hydrogen cyanide in water forms a colorless acid called hydrocyanic acid. Chemical formula: HCN.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

hydrogen cyanide

a highly volatile, colourless, and extremely poisonous liquid (boiling point 26 C [79 F], freezing point -14 C [7 F]). A solution of hydrogen cyanide in water is called hydrocyanic acid, or prussic acid. It was discovered in 1782 by a Swedish chemist, Carl Wilhelm Scheele, who prepared it from the pigment Prussian blue. Hydrogen cyanide and its compounds are used for many chemical processes, including fumigation, the case hardening of iron and steel, electroplating, and the concentration of ores. It also is employed in the preparation of acrylonitrile, which is used in the production of acrylic fibres, synthetic rubber, and plastics.

Learn more about hydrogen cyanide with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Meteors, comets or primordial ponds of hydrogen cyanide would still need to
  provide those molecules.
Although only mildly toxic, it can be metabolized to produce hydrogen cyanide.
Hydrogen cyanide is used in metallurgy several ways, including as a tempering
  agent.
Hydrogen cyanide is a toxic gas that has been used as a war gas and has been
  used to administer capital punishment.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature