potassium cyanide

noun

Definition of potassium cyanide

: a very poisonous crystalline salt KCN used especially in gold and silver extraction from ore

Examples of potassium cyanide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In a 1982 episode that became a textbook example of how to manage a corporate crisis, the company had to scramble after someone tampered with capsules of Extra-Strength Tylenol, turning them lethal with potassium cyanide and killing seven people. New York Times, 12 Nov. 2021 Both sodium and potassium cyanide are solid salt compounds that can be dissolved in water. Robert Anglen, The Arizona Republic, 6 June 2021 On the afternoon of December 6, 1885, Adams returned home from the dentist and found Clover dead, a vial of potassium cyanide, one of her darkroom chemicals, drained beside her. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, 30 Nov. 2020 And in 1978, potassium cyanide was mixed into fruit punch in the Jonestown mass murder-suicide in Guyana. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, 4 Oct. 2020 Seconds after an appeals judge confirmed his 20-year sentence for war crimes during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, Praljak proclaimed his innocence and then drank from a small bottle containing potassium cyanide. Pan Pylas, Star Tribune, 24 Sep. 2020 The textbook case for managing a public health emergency was Johnson & Johnson’s response in 1982 after police discovered seven people, all in the Chicago area, died after swallowing a capsule of Tylenol laced with potassium cyanide. Roger Lowenstein, Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2020 Their specialty was untraceable poisons delivered by ingenious weapons—such as a cigarette packet made in 1954 that could fire bullets filled with potassium cyanide. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, 6 Sep. 2018 There’s also a more insidious concern: Those tablets Komang handed out are potassium cyanide. National Geographic, 5 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of potassium cyanide

1866, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About potassium cyanide

Time Traveler for potassium cyanide

Time Traveler

The first known use of potassium cyanide was in 1866

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near potassium cyanide

potassium cyanate

potassium cyanide

potassium dichromate

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for potassium cyanide

Last Updated

25 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Potassium cyanide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potassium%20cyanide. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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

More Definitions for potassium cyanide

potassium cyanide

noun

Medical Definition of potassium cyanide

: a very poisonous crystalline salt KCN

More from Merriam-Webster on potassium cyanide

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about potassium cyanide

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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