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arsenic

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noun ar·se·nic \ ˈärs-nik , ˈär-sə- \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of arsenic

1 :a poisonous trivalent and pentavalent solid element that commonly occurs in a brittle, metallic, steel-gray, crystalline form and is used especially in wood preservatives, alloys, and semiconductors — see Chemical Elements Table
2 :a poisonous trioxide As2O3 or As4O6 of arsenic used especially as an insecticide or weed killer called also arsenic trioxide

Recent Examples of arsenic from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arsenic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of arsenic

Middle English arsenik orpiment, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin arsenicum, from Greek arsenikon, arrhenikon, from Syriac zarnīg, of Iranian origin; akin to Avestan zaranya gold, Sanskrit hari yellowish — more at yellow


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arsenic

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adjective ar·sen·ic \ är-ˈse-nik \

Definition of arsenic

:of, relating to, or containing arsenic especially with a valence of five

Recent Examples of arsenic from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arsenic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of arsenic

1798


ARSENIC Defined for English Language Learners

arsenic

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noun

Definition of arsenic for English Language Learners

  • : a poisonous chemical that is used especially to kill insects and weeds


ARSENIC Defined for Kids

arsenic

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noun ar·se·nic \ ˈärs-nik , ˈär-sə- \

Definition of arsenic for Students

:a solid poisonous chemical element that is usually gray and snaps easily

Medical Dictionary

1

arsenic

play
noun ar·se·nic \ ˈärs-nik, -ᵊn-ik \

medical Definition of arsenic

1 :a trivalent and pentavalent solid poisonous element that is commonly metallic steel-gray, crystalline, and brittle symbol As — see Chemical Elements Table

2

arsenic

play
adjective ar·sen·ic \ är-ˈsen-ik \

medical Definition of arsenic

:of, relating to, or containing arsenic especially with a valence of five


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