Arsenic Definition

A highly poisonous metallic element having several allotropic forms of which the brittle, crystalline gray metallic form is the most common. The less stable yellow allotrope has a molecular structure, As4 . Arsenic and its compounds are used in insecticides, weed killers, semiconductor dopants, and various alloys. Atomic number 33; atomic weight 74.9216; valence 3, 5. Gray arsenic melts at 817°C (at 28 atm pressure), sublimes at 616°C, and has a specific gravity of 5.75.
American Heritage
A silvery-white, brittle, very poisonous chemical element, compounds of which are used in making insecticides, glass, medicines, semiconductors, etc.: symbol, As; at. no. 33
Webster's New World
Arsenic trioxide, As2O3, a poisonous compound of arsenic used to exterminate insects and rodents: it is a white powder and has no taste.
Webster's New World

A nonmetallic chemical element (symbol As) with an atomic number of 33.

Arsenic trioxide.
Of or containing arsenic, especially with valence 5.
American Heritage
Of or containing arsenic, esp. pentavalent arsenic.
Webster's New World

Of, or containing arsenic with a valence of 5.


Origin of Arsenic

  • From Middle English arsenik, from Middle French arsenic, from Latin arsenicum, from Ancient Greek ἀρσενικόν (arsenikon, “yellow arsenic”) (influenced by ἀρσενικός (arsenikos, “potent, virile”)), from Semitic (compare Classical Syriac ܙܪܢܝܟܐ (zarnīḵā), Aramaic (zarnīḵā)), from Middle Iranian *zarnīk (compare Persian زرنی (zarnī, “arsenic”)), from Old Iranian *zarniya-ka- (compare Avestan (zaraniia-, “golden”), Old Persian (daraniya-, “gold”), Sanskrit हिरण्य (híraṇya, “gold”), Persian زر (zar, “gold”)), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰelh₃i. More at yellow.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English arsenik from Old French from Latin arsenicum from Greek arsenikon yellow orpiment alteration of Syriac zarnīkā from Middle Persian zarnīk from Old Iranian zarna- golden ghel-2 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition


Find Similar Words

Find similar words to arsenic using the buttons below.

Words Starting With

Words Ending With