Definition of cyanic acid in US English:

cyanic acid


  • A colorless, poisonous, volatile, strongly acidic liquid.

    Chemical formula: HOCN. See also fulminic acid

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But esters of normal cyanic acid are not known.’


Early 19th century: from cyanogen + -ic.