from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In chem., a combination of cyanogen with an element or a compound radicle capable of acting as an element.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Chem.) A compound formed by the union of cyanogen with an element or radical.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

cyano- + -ide


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  • 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

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

    February 27, 2015