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any member of a class of chemical compounds containing one or more groups of atoms of the element sulfur linked together by covalent bonds. In inorganic compounds belonging to this class, these groups are present as ions having the general formula Sn2-, in which n is a number from 3 to 10 or more; these compounds usually are prepared by dissolving sulfur in solutions containing the sulfide ion, S2-. Sodium polysulfides are used in the tanning industry to remove hair from hides; lime-sulfur and sulfurated potash, prepared by heating sulfur with lime and potash, respectively, are mixtures containing polysulfides, used as insecticides and pesticides.