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

  • n. Any of various salts or esters of hydrogen cyanide containing a CN group, especially the extremely poisonous compounds potassium cyanide and sodium cyanide.
  • transitive v. To treat (a metal surface) with cyanide to produce a hard surface.
  • transitive v. To treat (an ore) with cyanide to extract gold or silver.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. (countable) Any compound containing the -C≡N radical or the C≡N-1 anion.
  • n. potassium cyanide - a water soluble poison
  • n. hydrogen cyanide, or cyanide gas - a poisonous gas

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A compound formed by the union of cyanogen with an element or radical.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To treat an ore with a weak solution of an alkaline cyanide, as in the cyanide process for the extraction of gold. See cyanide process.
  • n. In chem., a combination of cyanogen with an element or a compound radicle capable of acting as an element.

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

  • n. any of a class of organic compounds containing the cyano radical -CN
  • n. an extremely poisonous salt of hydrocyanic acid


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

cyano- + -ide



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  • Cyanide kills by preventing red blood cells from absorbing oxygen. This results in a process known as “internal asphyxia.”

    February 27, 2015

  • Cyanide has a very similar molecular structure to oxygen. Therefore, when inhaled, it latches onto oxygen molecules and this prevents the cells of the body from using it.

    August 18, 2009