One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An organic compound containing a cyanide group —CN bound to an alkyl group.
- ‘They also rejected bridgehead double bonds and allenes, and (to my surprise) only allowed triple bonds for nitriles (so no acetylenes.)’
- ‘Secondary and tertiary amides are prepared by reacting primary amides or nitriles with organic acids.’
- ‘These toxins include nitriles, isothiocyanates, oxozaladines, and epithioalkanes.’
- ‘But common nitriles, such as hydrogen cyanide have masses more similar to nitrogen or methane, making them harder to pick out of the INMS results with only one night's study.’
- ‘In this reaction, an ester joins with another ester, a ketone, or a nitrile.’
Mid 19th century: from nitre + -ile (alteration of -yl).
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