One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
- old-fashioned term for hydrocyanic acid
- ‘Selection of plants for cultivation would have been directed at reducing a serious disadvantage of the plant; that it contains two substances, a glucoside and an enzyme, which react together to produce poisonous prussic acid.’
- ‘When this compound is dissolved in water, an acidic solution of hydrogen cyanide, also known as prussic acid, is produced.’
- ‘Presumably, sarin, tabun, phosgene, adamsite, prussic acid and a family of mustard gases, comprising the basis of KPA chemical weapons, are produced here.’
- ‘Similarly, the contents of alkaloids, tannins, oxalates, glucosides, dicumarins, prussic acid, nitrates or other substances in several weeds used as fodder and grasslands has also increased.’
- ‘I can tell you that there is prussic acid naturally occurring in bitter almonds.’
Late 18th century: prussic from French prussique ‘relating to Prussian blue’.
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