picric acid

pic·​ric acid | \ ˈpi-krik- How to pronounce picric acid (audio) \

Definition of picric acid

: a toxic yellow crystalline phenol derivative C6H3N3O7 structurally similar to TNT and used especially as a high explosive and as a dye or mordant

Examples of picric acid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Mont-Blanc was packed full of TNT, picric acid, gun cotton and aircraft fuel. Stephen Maher, chicagotribune.com, 21 Dec. 2017 Experiments with a compound called TNP (2,4,6-trinitrophenol, also known as picric acid), which researchers often use to study obesity and diabetes, show that in mice the therapy can promote the formation of new bone. Giorgia Guglielmi, Science | AAAS, 8 Sep. 2017 Mustard gas, picric acid, and TNT—all organic molecules—made for unimaginably destructive weapons. Rebecca Altman, The Atlantic, 4 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'picric acid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Keep scrolling for more

First Known Use of picric acid

circa 1838, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for picric acid

International Scientific Vocabulary

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About picric acid

Time Traveler for picric acid

Time Traveler

The first known use of picric acid was circa 1838

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near picric acid


picric acid


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for picric acid

Cite this Entry

“Picric acid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/picric%20acid. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for picric acid

picric acid

pic·​ric acid | \ ˌpik-rik- How to pronounce picric acid (audio) \

Medical Definition of picric acid

: a bitter toxic explosive yellow crystalline strong acid C6H3N3O7 used especially as a dye or biological stain, as an antiseptic, and as a precipitant for organic bases and polycyclic hydrocarbons

called also trinitrophenol

More from Merriam-Webster on picric acid

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about picric acid


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!