Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
1620s, "of the taste of vinegar," from French acide (16c.) or directly from Latin acidus "sour, sharp," adjective of state from acere "to be sour," from PIE root *ak- "sharp, pointed" (see acrid). Figurative use from 1775; applied to intense colors from 1916. Acid test is American English, 1892, from the frontier days, when gold was distinguished from similar metals by application of nitric acid. Acid rain is first recorded 1859 in reference to England.
When I was on acid I would see things that looked like beams of light, and I would hear things that sounded an awful lot like car horns. [Mitch Hedberg, 1968-2005, U.S. stand-up comic]Acid rock (type played by or listen to by people using LSD) is also from 1966; acid house dance music style is 1988, probably from acid in the hallucinogenic sense + house "dance club DJ music style."
acid ac·id (ās'ĭd)
Any of a large class of sour-tasting substances whose aqueous solutions are capable of turning blue litmus indicators red, of reacting with and dissolving certain metals to form salts, and of reacting with bases or alkalis to form salts.
A substance that ionizes in solution to give the positive ion of the solvent.
A substance capable of yielding hydrogen ions.
A proton donor.
An electron acceptor.
A molecule or ion that can combine with another by forming a covalent bond with two electrons of the other.
A substance having a sour taste.
Of or relating to an acid.
Having a high concentration of acid.
Having a sour taste.
Any of a class of compounds that form hydrogen ions when dissolved in water, and whose aqueous solutions react with bases and certain metals to form salts. Acids turn blue litmus paper red and have a pH of less than 7. Their aqueous solutions have a sour taste. Compare base.
A sour-tasting material (usually in a solution) that dissolves metals and other materials. Technically, a material that produces positive ions in solution. An acid is the opposite of a base and has a pH of 0 to 7. A given amount of an acid added to the same amount of a base neutralizes the base, producing water and a salt. Common vinegar, for example, is a weak solution of acetic acid.
Note: Figuratively, acid applies to anything sour or biting; for example, an “acid wit” is sharp and unpleasant.