One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A bitter crystalline compound found in bitter almonds and the stones of peaches, apricots, and other fruit.
- ‘This herb contains amygdalin which hydrolizes into benzaldehyde and hydrocyanic acid.’
- ‘A journalist rounded on him, asking: ‘Do you stick by your belief that amygdalin stops the spread of cancer?’’
- ‘Moreover, when unripe, they contain amygdalin, which is also present in bitter almonds, and are toxic.’
- ‘Taken orally or as an injection, laetrile is a purified form of amygdalin, a chemical found in lima beans, raw nuts and the pits of many fruits.’
Mid 19th century: from Latin amygdala ‘almond’ + -in.
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