cy·​a·​nide | \ ˈsī-ə-ˌnīd How to pronounce cyanide (audio) , -nəd\

Definition of cyanide

1 : a compound of cyanogen with a more electropositive element or group: such as

Examples of cyanide in a Sentence

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The seeds in apples contain cyanide, which is toxic, and the core can act as a choking hazard for dogs of all size. Jackie Frere, Woman's Day, "Can Dogs Eat Apples? A Veterinarian Weighs In," 2 Apr. 2019 Within a few years, there were two instances of people either killing or attempting to kill their spouses by lacing common medicine with cyanide and then placing the laced pills back on store shelves in an effort to cover up the crime. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "Needles in strawberries, cyanide in Tylenol: the long history of product tampering," 21 Sep. 2018 In the 21st century, the podcast Fatal Voyage digs into Wood's mysterious demise. 1987 Pathologist Dr. Lee Lehman discovered cyanide in the corpse of John Powell while conducting an autopsy at Drake Memorial Hospital. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Complete History of the Autopsy," 26 Dec. 2018 Back in the woods, Betty and Jughead have found the bunker, which is full of game supplies, cyanide, and the missing scout who doesn’t know that Dilton is dead. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Recap Season 3 Episode 2: Betty and Jughead Have a New Mystery to Solve," 18 Oct. 2018 Hoffmann killed herself one night by drinking a martini laced with cyanide, Flagg writes. Alexandra Wolfe, WSJ, "I Want You…to Solve the Mystery of the Missing Nude," 10 Oct. 2018 Back then, an 8-year-old died after eating Pixy Stix laced with cyanide. German Lopez, Vox, "The myth of poisoned Halloween candy," 31 Oct. 2018 Dilton took a combination of cyanide and some blue Kool-Aide-like beverage, which is what ultimately killed him. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About the "Riverdale" Season 3 Flashback Episode," 19 Oct. 2018 The comet's green glow is due to cyanide and carbon molecules becoming ionized by the warmth of the sun. Temi Adebowale, Popular Mechanics, "Look Up! You Might Be Able to See a Green Comet Tonight," 7 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cyanide.' 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 cyanide

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cyanide

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Statistics for cyanide

Last Updated

26 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for cyanide

The first known use of cyanide was in 1826

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English Language Learners Definition of cyanide

: a very poisonous chemical


cy·​a·​nide | \ ˈsī-ə-ˌnīd How to pronounce cyanide (audio) \

Kids Definition of cyanide

: any of several compounds containing carbon and nitrogen and including two very poisonous substances


cy·​a·​nide | \ ˈsī-ə-ˌnīd, -nəd How to pronounce cyanide (audio) \

Medical Definition of cyanide

: any of several compounds (as potassium cyanide) that contain the radical CN having a chemical valence of one, react with and inactivate respiratory enzymes, and are rapidly lethal producing drowsiness, tachycardia, coma, and finally death

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More from Merriam-Webster on cyanide

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cyanide

Spanish Central: Translation of cyanide

Nglish: Translation of cyanide for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cyanide

Comments on cyanide

What made you want to look up cyanide? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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