formic acid

noun (1)
for·​mic acid | \ ˈfȯr-mik- How to pronounce formic acid (audio) \

Definition of formic acid

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a colorless pungent fuming vesicant liquid acid CH2O2 found especially in ants and in many plants and used chiefly in dyeing and finishing textiles

formic aldehyde

noun (2)

Definition of formic aldehyde (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of formic acid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Scientists have created a way to convert carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas, into formic acid. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Here's a Machine That Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Liquid Fuel," 4 Sep. 2019 Hart tells the Guardian that the birds can appear drunk after eating just a few of the insects, perhaps as a result of the formic acid found in the ants’ bodies. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Swarms of Flying Ants Overtaking Great Britain Show Up as Rain on Radar," 20 July 2019 When the Formica ants attack, the high-speed video would show these really quick bursts of formic acid being sprayed from their abdomens and splattering on the trap-jaw ants. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "High-speed video solves how Florida ants furnish their nests with their enemies’ bodies," 18 Nov. 2018 First, the Formica ants squirt the trap-jaw ants with a stream of formic acid that stuns them. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "High-speed video solves how Florida ants furnish their nests with their enemies’ bodies," 18 Nov. 2018 Entry uses potassium formate, derived from formic acid, a common and easily-synthesized compound. Joseph N. Distefano, Philly.com, "As storms hit, SynaTek of Souderton ships high-end de-icer," 6 Mar. 2018 By using glycerol, Kenis says that his team was able to reduce the overpotential in that part of their system by nearly two-thirds and churn out formic acid, which is widely used in chemical synthesis. Robert Service, Science | AAAS, "Two new ways to turn ‘garbage’ carbon dioxide into fuel," 1 Sep. 2017 After helping to make important proteins, formaldehyde gets turned into formic acid and exits the body through urine. Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, "‘Aspartame Causes Cancer’ Was a Classic Internet Hoax," 27 Jan. 2017

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

Noun (1)

1790, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for formic acid

Noun (1)

irregular from Latin formica ant

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Time Traveler for formic acid

Time Traveler

The first known use of formic acid was in 1790

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Cite this Entry

“Formic acid.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/formic. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for formic acid

formic acid

noun

Medical Definition of formic acid

: a colorless pungent fuming vesicant liquid acid CH2O2 found especially in ants and in many plants and used chiefly in dyeing and finishing textiles

More from Merriam-Webster on formic acid

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about formic acid

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