cy·a·nide | \ˈsī-ə-ˌnīd, -nəd\

Definition of cyanide 

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

a : potassium cyanide

b : sodium cyanide

Examples of cyanide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Tran died after being attacked and injected with cyanide on Valentine's Day 2017. Fox News, "Trial delay refused for murder suspect on hunger strike," 13 June 2018 Past runners include Carl Peatfield, who suffered brain damage after a cyanide poisoning accident at his workplace and ran in the 2002 ultramarathon in a kind of harness supported by four friends. Washington Post, "South African man who survived impaling to run ultramarathon," 6 June 2018 Their investigations in Torres’s home country of El Salvador determined he was exposed to mercury, cyanide, arsenic and potentially other neurotoxins in utero and in his early years, possibly slowing his brain development, according to the motions. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, "Expert: Man set for trial in killing of Muslim teen may be too impaired to face death penalty," 18 May 2018 The sentencing of a man convicted of mailing fatal cyanide to a suicidal Englishman is set to resume in Maine. Fox News, "Sentencing to resume in case of man who mailed fatal cyanide," 20 May 2018 In 1945, Nazi official Heinrich Himmler committed suicide by biting into a cyanide capsule while in British custody in Luneburg, Germany., "This day in history," 23 May 2018 Miners left open pits and dug-up stream beds that continue to leak cyanide, mercury, antimony and other toxic metals into the river, the U.S. Geological Survey said in 2015. Rocky Barker, idahostatesman, "World's largest gold miner puts $38 million bet on new Idaho project | Idaho Statesman," 9 May 2018 The dog, a 3-year-old Labrador, died quickly and the teen suffered cyanide poisoning for weeks before recovering. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Cyanide 'bombs' used to kill coyotes, foxes under review by federal officials," 28 Apr. 2018 Oddly enough, peach and cherry pits contain their own form of deadly chemical: cyanide. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "How peach pits helped us win The Great War," 20 Apr. 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

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Statistics for cyanide

Last Updated

27 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for cyanide

The first known use of cyanide was in 1826

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More Definitions for cyanide



English Language Learners Definition of cyanide

: a very poisonous chemical


cy·a·nide | \ˈsī-ə-ˌnīd \

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 \

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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