arsenic

noun
ar·​se·​nic | \ ˈärs-nik How to pronounce arsenic (audio) , ˈär-sə-\

Definition of arsenic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

arsenic

adjective
ar·​sen·​ic | \ är-ˈse-nik How to pronounce arsenic (audio) \

Definition of arsenic (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Examples of arsenic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

High levels of arsenic, California law states, can cause reproductive harm and cancer. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "High levels of arsenic in bottled water sold at Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, study says," 20 June 2019 Water systems there are often contaminated by nitrates from pesticides, fertilizer runoff and dairy waste, as well as arsenic, which scientists believe is released into aquifers by overpumping. Alexei Koseff, SFChronicle.com, "Gavin Newsom signs $1 billion clean-water package for poor areas," 24 July 2019 The wallpaper looks like something William Morris might have dreamed up in his arsenic-green phase. Peter Meehan, Los Angeles Times, "A collection of Gold-isms: soft-porn videocassettes, Claes Oldenburg and Metallica," 18 July 2019 The gray ash that remains after coal is burned contains potentially harmful amounts of mercury, arsenic and lead. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Hurricane Florence could flood manure pits, contaminating drinking water, experts warn," 13 Sep. 2018 The groups raised concerns in August 2018 about pollutants including arsenic, boron and lithium leaking into groundwater and the Susquehanna from unlined ponds storing coal ash waste. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "Owner of Susquehanna River coal plant fined $1 million, forced to address pollution flowing to Chesapeake Bay," 31 July 2019 Earlier this year, Consumer Reports found potentially harmful levels of metals including arsenic in fruit juices. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "High levels of arsenic in bottled water sold at Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, study says," 20 June 2019 The move was delayed for two years after contamination, including arsenic, was found in the groundwater and soil at Toyosu, the former site of a gas plant. Yuri Kageyama, The Seattle Times, "Official: Move of Japan fish market could have been better," 16 Oct. 2018 The most common contaminants have included arsenic, lead and substances that are a byproduct of combustion, both from nearby plants and auto exhaust. Jon Murray, The Denver Post, "Denver’s Interstate 70 project is producing a whole lot of dirt," 5 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Reportedly, a sticking point in the talks is the team’s insistence that the cost of the arsenic cleanup would be tied to the land’s value, which in turn would help determine the rent. David Lyons, sun-sentinel.com, "Inter Miami ... or Inter Fort Lauderdale? The case for David Beckham rethinking soccer team’s home," 24 Aug. 2019 By the turn of the century, the adverse effects of using arsenic tint were widely exposed, color technology had vastly improved, and the practice (thankfully) grew out of fashion. Whitney Robinson, ELLE Decor, "The Best Shade of Green is Actually Named for a Deadly Poison," 26 Apr. 2019 In the 1870s, an American doctor tried to raise awareness of the hazards of arsenic-laced wallpaper by creating a book of potentially poisonous samples and sending it around to libraries. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, "Three poisonous books were found in University of Southern Denmark’s library," 10 July 2018 Akeeshea Daniels discusses the fallout from an announcement during the summer of 2016 that lead and arsenic contamination were discovered in the soil of the West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago. Craig Lyons, Post-Tribune, "Crews ready to demolish West Calumet Housing Complex after evacuations due to lead and arsenic," 23 Mar. 2018 This analysis revealed that the green pigment on the books’ covers is arsenic. James Rogers, Fox News, "Deadly discovery: Poisonous books found in university library," 6 July 2018 For more information on lead exposure, click or tap http://bit.ly/LEADpoison For more information on arsenic exposure, click or tap http://bit.ly/ARSENICpoison. Jennie Key, Cincinnati.com, "Ballfield at sports complex will remain closed until lead is removed," 2 July 2018 In Lanare, the community service district received a $1 million federal grant in 2006 to treat arsenic contamination. Dale Kasler, Phillip Reese And Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "360,000 Californians have unsafe drinking water. Are you one of them?," 1 June 2018 Eating arsenic isn’t the only way to get arsenic poisoning: It can also be inhaled and absorbed through the skin. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "The strange history of poisonous wallpaper and a dangerous book," 19 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of arsenic

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1798, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arsenic

Noun

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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Statistics for arsenic

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for arsenic

The first known use of arsenic was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for arsenic

arsenic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of arsenic

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

arsenic

noun
ar·​se·​nic | \ ˈärs-nik How to pronounce arsenic (audio) , ˈär-sə-\

Kids Definition of arsenic

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

arsenic

noun
ar·​se·​nic | \ ˈärs-nik, -ᵊn-ik How to pronounce arsenic (audio) \

Medical Definition of arsenic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

arsenic

adjective
ar·​sen·​ic | \ är-ˈsen-ik How to pronounce arsenic (audio) \

Medical Definition of arsenic (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on arsenic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with arsenic

Spanish Central: Translation of arsenic

Nglish: Translation of arsenic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about arsenic

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