One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A colourless, poisonous, volatile, strongly acidic liquid.
- ‘Ramberg has cast a sceptic's eye over the familiar story of how Wöhler's synthesis of urea from cyanic acid and ammonia in 1828 dispelled the notion of vitalism by creating an organic compound from inorganic components.’
- ‘Because of this additional oxygen atom, cyanic acid has an extremely low toxicity to livestock and fish, as opposed to hydrocyanic acid.’
- ‘Hydrated cyanic acid is a volatile and highly blistering fluid, which cannot be brought into contact with water without being instantaneously decomposed.’
- ‘But esters of normal cyanic acid are not known.’
- ‘These data are in accordance with those presented by Vitti et al., who reported reduction of 70% in cyanic acid in the raw leaves of cassava during the dehydration process.’
Early 19th century: from cyanogen + -ic.
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