cy·​an·​o·​gen | \ sī-ˈa-nə-jən How to pronounce cyanogen (audio) \

Definition of cyanogen

1 : a monovalent group −CN present in cyanides
2 : a colorless flammable poisonous gas (CN)2

Examples of cyanogen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Separating light from 2I/Borisov into its component parts, his team found a signature of cyanogen, a molecule made of a carbon atom and a nitrogen atom bonded together. Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "An alien comet from another star is soaring through our solar system," 28 Nov. 2019 The probe survived for about 72 minutes on the cold ground, spying rocks of water ice, measuring the atmospheric density and temperature, and detecting organic compounds such as ethane, cyanogen, benzene and large amounts of methane. Jay Bennett, Smithsonian, "Dragonfly Spacecraft to Scour the Sands of Titan for the Chemistry of Life," 6 May 2012 Hydrogen glows red, helium glows yellow, and cyanogen glows green. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Why Is the 'Christmas Comet' Green?," 18 Dec. 2018 The comet currently passing by Earth, comet 46P/Wirtanen, has a substantial amount of cyanogen. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Why Is the 'Christmas Comet' Green?," 18 Dec. 2018 His biggest coup was providing the Brits with the design of a chemical warfare dispersal device manufactured from parts that could be found in a tool shed and was capable of spreading deadly cyanogen chloride or other agents. NBC News, "He spied on al Qaeda from the inside, until he had to run for his life," 17 June 2018 A study published in 2014 in Environmental Science & Technology, for example, found that when uric acid in human urine mixes with chlorine, a toxic compound called cyanogen chloride (CNCI) and trichloramine (NCl3) is formed, TIME reported. Melinda Carstensen, Fox News, "There's probably pee in your swimming pool — what's the health risk?," 2 Mar. 2017

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

1816, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cyanogen

French cyanogène, from cyan- + gène -gen

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Time Traveler for cyanogen

Time Traveler

The first known use of cyanogen was in 1816

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Cite this Entry

“Cyanogen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for cyanogen


cy·​ano·​gen | \ sī-ˈan-ə-jən How to pronounce cyanogen (audio) \

Medical Definition of cyanogen

1 : a monovalent group −CN present in cyanides
2 : a colorless flammable poisonous gas (CN)2

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