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

Recent Examples on the Web The pits of peaches contain cyanogenic compounds, which the human body converts to cyanide, a poison, when consumed. Kaitlin Reilly,, "All The Peach References In You Season 2 Could Hint At Something Crazy About Love," 15 Jan. 2020 Pufferfishes, for instance, are especially deadly due to a neurotoxin in their skin and organs that's more toxic than cyanide. National Geographic, "What’s the difference between a poisonous and venomous animal?," 7 Jan. 2020 Unlike my favorite childhood cartoon, this ooze won’t create the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but instead is highly toxic and laden with cancer-causing agents and cyanide. cleveland, "Population estimates show Flyover states will lose influence following 2020: The Flyover," 6 Jan. 2020 Also accused are a jewelry store clerk who the police said helped Joseph carry out some of her killings, as well as a goldsmith from a neighboring town, who is alleged to have provided the cyanide., "That Joseph, 47, might have killed with such abandon has scandalized Koodathayai, a small town in the southern state of Kerala where she was an active member of the Roman Catholic community and seen as a model citizen.," 20 Oct. 2019 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 The chemicals stored at the plant included cyanide, chromium, nickel, chloride, trichloroethylene, and various acids and bases that were used as part of the plating process. Steve Pepple, Detroit Free Press, "Gov. Whitmer says her office reviewing criminal charges against 'green ooze' polluter," 30 Dec. 2019 It’s widely used to treat cases of poisoning, whether from cyanide or a drug overdose. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Scientist Turns Beer Byproducts Into Carbon Nanotubes," 26 Nov. 2019 The culprit was Microcystis aeruginosa, a blue-green cyanobacteria known to create a toxin more lethal than cyanide or antifreeze. Tony Briscoe,, "How algae blooms and dead zones form in Lake Erie," 14 Nov. 2019

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

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for cyanide

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The first known use of cyanide was in 1826

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Last Updated

1 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cyanide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cyanide


How to pronounce cyanide (audio)

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

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