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 At the moment, every single coal ash pond in Alabama is at more than 800 percent capacity for pollutants like arsenic. Christopher Harress | Charress@al.com, al, "Will Alabama ecosystem suffer without Paris Climate deal?," 8 Nov. 2019 Rice cakes, cereal and pasta were also high in inorganic arsenic. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "6 ways parents can reduce heavy metals in the food they give their babies," 18 Oct. 2019 Of these, at least 33,000 have contaminated water supplies or left piles of mine waste contaminated with arsenic behind. Matthew Ross, The Conversation, "Mining powers modern life, but can leave scarred lands and polluted waters behind," 3 Oct. 2019 All of them show resistance to arsenic at 500 times the dose lethal to humans. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "California’s Saltiest Lake Is Home to This Arsenic-Resistant, Three-Sexed Worm," 1 Oct. 2019 Issues with the product included the chemical residue bifenazate found in the RSO, heavy metal cadmium found in the Glue Buds, heavy metal arsenic found in the Savage signature concentrate and heavy metal chromium found in the Platinum vapes. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "State orders recall of marijuana products tested by shuttered Walled Lake lab," 30 Aug. 2019 This treatment is also effective for inactivating arsenic in soil. Washington Post, "If you’re worried your soil is contaminated, get it tested," 27 Aug. 2019 The important card isn’t the arsenic and toxic waste in the soil, as spelled out in a report written by a consultant to the MLS team. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde5: The soil isn’t the real contamination with MLS plans in Miami," 22 Aug. 2019 Peñafiel bottled water is being pulled from store shelves after a report found that the products contained arsenic at levels that exceeded federal standards. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "Bottled water brand found to have high levels of arsenic pulled from stores," 24 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 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

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

14 Nov 2019

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
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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