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Definition of "cyanide" [cy•a•nide]

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

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "cyanide" in a sentence
  • "However, bitter almonds are used for almond flavoring and do contain cyanide, which is removed for making things like extracts."
  • "As cyanide is the source for bitterness in both apricot kernels and almonds, the sweet varieties do not have dangerous levels of the chemical."
  • "I just used a package to bake some Dutch bitterkoekje-style macaroons (cyanide is broken down by cooking, even though sweet almonds hardly have any)."