Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A colorless caustic fuming liquid, HCOOH, used in dyeing and finishing textiles and paper and in the manufacture of fumigants, insecticides, and refrigerants.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The simplest carboxylic acid, HCOOH, a colourless, corrosive liquid with a sharp odour; it is present in the stings of ants, bees and nettles, and is prepared industrially by the oxidation of methanol or formaldehyde; it has some industrial uses, and its esters, the formates are used in perfumes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. a colorless, mobile liquid, HCO.OH, of a sharp, acid taste, occurring naturally in ants, nettles, pine needles, etc., and produced artifically in many ways, as by the oxidation of methyl alcohol, by the reduction of carbonic acid or the destructive distillation of oxalic acid. It is the first member of the fatty acids in the paraffin series, and is homologous with acetic acid.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a colorless pungent fuming vesicatory liquid acid HCOOH found naturally in ants and many plants or made catalytically from carbon monoxide and steam; used in finishing textiles and paper and in the manufacture of insecticides and fumigants

Etymologies

From its natural occurrence in ants.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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