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 The company is discharging water polluted with arsenic, cyanide, mercury and other heavy metals into streams of the Salmon River, home to several species of fish protected by the Endangered Species Act, Nez Perce Tribal leaders say. USA TODAY, "MLK, robot unemployment, Python Bowl: News from around our 50 states," 14 Jan. 2020 Federal regulators ordered the DEQ to rewrite the permits to reduce the allowed emissions of certain toxic chemicals, including arsenic and benzene, and to limit the emissions of fine particulate matter, which is linked to lung disease. Gordon Russell, ProPublica, "In “Cancer Alley,” Toxic Polluters Face Little Oversight From Environmental Regulators," 19 Dec. 2019 An affirmative finding would make THC one of hundreds of chemicals judged to cause cancer or birth defects that the state requires to carry warning labels, such as arsenic and lead. Fortune, "California Considers Calling THC in Pot a Risk to Moms-to-Be," 11 Dec. 2019 Even fruit juices can contain arsenic or lead, so the group recommends parents offer children water to drink, which has 68% less toxic heavy metals. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "95% of baby foods tested contain toxic metals that could lower babies' IQ, study finds," 18 Oct. 2019 There's a strong chance your baby's food contains traces of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic and lead, according to a new study. Sarah Jackson, NBC News, "95 percent of baby foods tested contain toxic metals, new report says," 17 Oct. 2019 The safety and quality of Crystal Geyser bottled water are not in question, though other bottled water brands have been caught with unsafe levels of arsenic. Dakota Kim, Sunset Magazine, "Crystal Geyser Is In Hot Water, Fined $5 Million for Hazardous Arsenic-Laden Waste," 27 Jan. 2020 That 2011 report, by the Mexican Institute for Water Technology, found that the river contained high levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium, cyanide, mercury and nickel. Steve Fisher, New York Times, "‘A Slow-Motion Chernobyl’: How Lax Laws Turned a River Into a Disaster," 30 Dec. 2019 Studies long ago shattered the company’s safety claims by linking high levels of arsenic and lead to serious health threats. BostonGlobe.com, "OPPORTUNITY, Mont. — For a century, this tiny town has breathed beneath the long shadow of a colossal chimney. In fact, a mining behemoth created Opportunity specifically to prove it was safe to live in the path of the dark plume of smoke that billowed from the company’s copper smelter.," 2 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But plans to do so are drawing concern from environmental groups that say the cleanup process has not been publicly vetted and involves pumping dangerous amounts of arsenic solids into the Mississippi River. USA TODAY, "Retired monkeys, freeze-dried blood, ‘Hidden Figures Way’: News from around our 50 states," 14 June 2019 Then the trucks motor up the mountain toward belching smelters — the culprit, researchers say, behind arsenic levels in Dachang’s dust reaching more than 100 times the government limit. Washington Post, "Chinese metal mines feed the global demand for gadgets. They’re also poisoning China’s poorest regions.," 29 Dec. 2019 Then the trucks motor up the mountain toward belching smelters - the culprit, researchers say, behind arsenic levels in Dachang's dust reaching more than 100 times the government limit. Anchorage Daily News, "Chinese metal mines feed global demand for gadgets and poison China’s poorest regions," 30 Dec. 2019 Arsenic was found in 73% of the samples tested, and four out of seven infant rice cereals tested had arsenic levels that exceeded the FDA's guidance. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "95% of baby foods tested contain toxic metals that could lower babies' IQ, study finds," 18 Oct. 2019 Water in several residential areas was also found to be unsafe for drinking because of lead, aluminum, chrome, and arsenic pollution. Kristen Mctighe, Science | AAAS, "Turkish scientist gets 15-month sentence for publishing environmental study," 27 Sep. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for arsenic

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for arsenic

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Arsenic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arsenic. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for arsenic

arsenic

noun
How to pronounce arsenic (audio)

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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