1A salt or ester of hydrocyanic acid, containing the anion CN− or the group —CN. The salts are generally extremely toxic. Compare with nitrile.
- Both cyanides and nitriles have the general formula RCN with a triple bond between the carbon and nitrogen (R-CN).
- The few exceptions to this definition are the oxides of carbon, the carbonates, the cyanides (compounds of carbon, nitrogen, and at least one more element), and a few other families of compounds.
- The case hardening medium is a molten, nitrogen-bearing, fused-salt bath containing either cyanides or cyanates.
1.1 [mass noun] Sodium or potassium cyanide used as a poison or in the extraction of gold and silver.
- How are you applying this technique to something which has been so much in the news recently and that is the question of cyanide used for the extraction of gold?
- While he was recovering in hospital, someone somehow poisoned him with cyanide.
- The committee was also worried that the gold will be extracted using cyanide which would cause irreparable damage to the East Rhodope Mountains.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: cyan|ide
Definition of cyanide in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.