sulfuric acid


Definition of sulfuric acid 

: a heavy corrosive oily dibasic strong acid H2SO4 that is colorless when pure and is a vigorous oxidizing and dehydrating agent

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Is it sulfur or sulphur?: Usage Guide

The spelling sulfur predominates in U.S. technical usage, while both sulfur and sulphur are common in general usage. British usage tends to favor sulphur for all applications. The same pattern is seen in most of the words derived from sulfur.

Examples of sulfuric acid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Their high sulfur content is also harmful to the environment since sulfur, when mixed with water and air, forms sulfuric acid — the main component of acid rain. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "The case against cruises," 15 Nov. 2018 Many car batteries are filled with a mixture of water and sulfuric acid. Alex Leanse, Popular Mechanics, "How to Diagnose Car Problems If You Don't Know Much About Cars," 23 Dec. 2016 Both the sulfuric acid and the lead plates are reusable with only a modest amount of processing. Mike Allen, Popular Mechanics, "How to Dispose of Hazardous Waste Without Damaging the Environment," 9 Oct. 2018 But when exposed to air again, the iron sulfides react with oxygen to produce sulfate salts and sulfuric acid, which eat away at the already fragile timbers and artifacts where wood is in contact with iron. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Tiny magnets will escort ions out of rare material from a shipwreck," 24 Aug. 2018 Those clouds are made mostly of sulfuric acid, which would seem to argue against the Venus-life idea. Mike Wall,, "Life on Venus? Why It's Not an Absurd Thought," 16 Apr. 2018 That’s when, prosecutors say, Wallace began researching sulfuric acid. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "He told his ex he had a new girlfriend. She poured acid on his face as he lay in bed.," 23 May 2018 The idea behind this type of geoengineering would be to create a sulfuric acid cloud in the upper atmosphere that's similar to what volcanic eruptions produce, Robock said. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Creating clouds to stop global warming could wreak havoc," 22 Jan. 2018 Fermilab spokeswoman Deb Sebastian said a 400-gallon tank with sulfuric acid for water treatment sprang a pinhole-sized leak Monday around 2:30 p.m. Megan Jones, Aurora Beacon-News, "No injuries reported after acid leak at Fermilab in Batavia," 10 July 2018

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

1788, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for sulfuric acid

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for sulfuric acid

The first known use of sulfuric acid was in 1788

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More Definitions for sulfuric acid

sulfuric acid


English Language Learners Definition of sulfuric acid

chemistry : a very strong type of acid

sulfuric acid


Medical Definition of sulfuric acid 

: a heavy corrosive oily dibasic strong acid H2SO4 that is colorless when pure and is a vigorous oxidizing and dehydrating agent — see oil of vitriol

More from Merriam-Webster on sulfuric acid

Spanish Central: Translation of sulfuric acid Encyclopedia article about sulfuric acid

Comments on sulfuric acid

What made you want to look up sulfuric acid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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