Share this entry

Share this page

picric acid

Line breaks: pic¦ric acid
Pronunciation: /ˈpɪkrɪk
 
/

Definition of picric acid in English:

noun

[mass noun] Chemistry
A bitter yellow compound obtained by nitrating phenol, used as a dye and in the manufacture of explosives.
Example sentences
  • Nitrogen is an important component of common chemical explosives like TNT, nitroglycerin, gunpowder, guncotton, nitrocellulose, picric acid, and ammonium nitrate.
  • In addition, some of the chemicals could be hazardous: picric acid was explosive, and the arsenic compounds could be toxic to the wearer.
  • Marks recounts how some painted their legs and arms vivid yellow with picric acid to protect against sunburn.

Origin

mid 19th century: picric from Greek pikros 'bitter' + -ic.

Definition of picric acid in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…