1826, coined from cyan-, comb. form for carbon and nitrogen compounds, from Gk. kyanos "dark blue enamel, lapis lazuli" (see cyan) + chemical ending -ide. So called because it first had been obtained by heating the dye pigment powder known as Prussian blue (see Prussian).
cyanide cy·a·nide (sī'ə-nīd') or cy·a·nid (-nĭd) n. Any of various salts or esters of hydrogen cyanide containing a CN group, especially the extremely poisonous compounds potassium cyanide and sodium cyanide.
(sī'ə-nīd') Any of a large group of chemical compounds containing the radical CN, especially the very poisonous salts sodium cyanide and potassium cyanide. Cyanides are used to make plastics and to extract and treat metals.