• WordNet 3.6
    • n arsenic a very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms; arsenic and arsenic compounds are used as herbicides and insecticides and various alloys; found in arsenopyrite and orpiment and realgar
    • n arsenic a white powdered poisonous trioxide of arsenic; used in manufacturing glass and as a pesticide (rat poison) and weed killer
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In the 1700s, European women achieved a pale complexion by eating "Arsenic Complexion Wafers" actually made with the poison.
    • Arsenic (Com) Arsenious oxide or arsenious anhydride; -- called also arsenious acid white arsenic, and ratsbane.
    • Arsenic (Chem) One of the elements, a solid substance resembling a metal in its physical properties, but in its chemical relations ranking with the nonmetals. It is of a steel-gray color and brilliant luster, though usually dull from tarnish. It is very brittle, and sublimes at 356° Fahrenheit. It is sometimes found native, but usually combined with silver, cobalt, nickel, iron, antimony, or sulphur. Orpiment and realgar are two of its sulphur compounds, the first of which is the true arsenicum of the ancients. The element and its compounds are active poisons. Specific gravity from 5.7 to 5.9. Atomic weight 75. Symbol As.
    • a Arsenic (Chem) Pertaining to, or derived from, arsenic; -- said of those compounds of arsenic in which this element has its highest equivalence; as, arsenic acid.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic."
    • n arsenic A yellow mineral, called specifically yellow arsenic; the trisulphid of the element to which it has given its name; orpiment.
    • n arsenic Chemical symbol, As; atomic weight, 75. A chemical element having a grayish-white color, a metallic luster, and a specific gravity of 5.727. Under ordinary pressure it does not melt, but at 356° F. it passes from the solid state into vapor of a lemon-yellow color. It tarnishes rapidly in moist air at ordinary temperature, and heated in air is oxidized to arsenic trioxid, As2O3. Arsenic occurs in nature uncombined, but much more commonly in combination. The chief ores are the two sulphids, realgar (As2S2) and orpiment (As2S3), arsenical pyrites or mispickel (FeSAs), and arsenides of iron, nickel, and cobalt. Most of the arsenic of commerce is prepared in Bohemia and Saxony or in England. Arsenic itself is little used in the arts. Its salts, however, have great commercial importance. With oxygen arsenic forms two compounds, the more important of which is arsenic trioxid (As2O3), a violent poison, the ratsbane, white arsenic, or simple arsenic of the shops. It is prepared by a process of sublimation from arsenical ores, and is sold as a white crystalline powder or in glassy translucent masses, which are odorless, nearly tasteless, and slightly soluble in water. The most reliable antidote is freshly prepared hydrated sesquioxid of iron, which should be given in considerable quantity after the stomach has been freed from the poison as completely as possible by an emetic given with bland liquids, such as milk, flour and water, or white of egg and water, which serve to envelop the poison and effect its complete ejection from the stomach. In the absence of hydrated sesquioxid of iron, large quantities of a paste made of chalk or magnesia and castor-oil may be used. Arsenic trioxid is used in medicine, especially in the treatment of certain nervous and skin diseases, and in the arts as the basis for preparing arsenical salts and certain pigments, and largely in the manufacture of glass. Arsenic has two oxygen acids, whose salts are the arseniates and arsenites. Free arsenious acid is not known. Arsenic acid occurs in commerce as a thick acid liquid, and is largely used in the manufacture of aniline red, and sodium arseniate is much used in calico-printing. Arsenic disulphid (As2S2) occurs native as realgar (see realgar), and is made artificially under the name of ruby sulphur. Both the native and the artiflicially prepared sulphids are used as pigments, as is also arsenic trisulphid (As2S3), or orpiment, also called king's yellow.
    • n arsenic The popular name of arsenic trioxid (As2O3), the preparation of arsenic usually retailed in trade. See above.
    • arsenic Containing arsenic; specifically, containing arsenic in smaller proportion than arsenious compounds. See arsenious.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Arsenic ar′sen-ik one of the chemical elements: a mineral poison: a soft, gray-coloured metal
    • adjs Arsenic composed of or containing arsenic: in chemistry, applied to compounds
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. arsenicum, Gr. 'arseniko`n 'arreniko`n, yellow orpiment, perh. fr. 'arseniko`s or better Attic 'arreniko`s masculine, 'a`rrhn male, on account of its strength, or fr. Per. zernīkh,: cf. F. arsenic,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. arsenikon, arsen, male; the alchemists fancied some metals male, others female.


In literature:

No wonder he thought he tasted arsenic, and couldn't sleep.
"Ivory Apes and Peacocks" by James Huneker
Quinones sent me to pour out his drops of arsenic that he has taken for some time.
"The Grandee" by Armando Palacio Valdés
Window glass is silicate of potash, rendered insoluble by additions of arsenic and litharge.
"The Elements of Agriculture" by George E. Waring
Arsenic is insoluble in the acid, but immediately dissolves in the bleaching-powder.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 1" by Various
They might have been morphia or arsenic for all he knew.
"The Wide Awake Girls in Winsted" by Katharine Ellis Barrett
Paris Green is arsenic, and may poison bees if used too soon.
"The Book of Pears and Plums" by Edward Bartrum
It would have been worth all the apothecary's arsenic and iron for someone just to have told him so.
"John March, Southerner" by George W. Cable
Arsenic, another poison in common use, is sold in all the bazaars.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 377, March 1847" by Various
Copper combines directly with arsenic to form several arsenides, some of which occur in the mineral kingdom.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 3" by Various
Magnesite, arsenic, pyrites, and gypsum sources are worked.
"Area Handbook for Albania" by Eugene K. Keefe

In poetry:

And yet I must do something quick
To keep the hag in line,
Since her red rooster chose to pick
Five lettuce heads of mine:
And so I fed it arsenic
Which it did not decline.
"My Feud" by Robert W Service

In news:

First It's Eggs, Now It's Arsenic In Rice That We Have To Worry About.
Take precautions with rice after arsenic report.
FDA standards urged for arsenic in rice.
Rice contains 'worrisome' arsenic levels, says Consumer Reports.
A new Consumer Reports study finds "worrisome" levels of arsenic in many rice products.
FDA moves to limit arsenic in rice.
The Food and Drug Administration is crafting a plan that would remove much of the arsenic in rice products – the leading food source for the poison, said the Washington Post.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it is working toward a proposal that would limit the amount of arsenic in rice, which has been identified as a leading dietary source of the toxin.
Officials find elevated lead, arsenic levels at site of Columbia asphalt plant.
COLUMBIA — South Carolina health and environmental officials said Tuesday they have alerted federal authorities after finding elevated levels of arsenic and lead at a Columbia asphalt plant site.
They live in one of the many areas where the supply is contaminated by nitrates, arsenic or bacteria from agricultural runoff.
A Family Farm Confronts the Unthinkable: Its Rice Contains Arsenic.
" First and foremost, I want to warn parents that every rice cereal product we tested contained arsenic," Madigan said.
Arsenic-contaminated soil to be removed from Whiteford chemical plant site.
It appears the long-awaited clean up of arsenic-contaminated soil from a 26-acre parcel at that address is poised to begin any day now.

In science:

For the growth of single crystals a NaCl/KCl flux was mixed with an equal amount of the precursor (for details see Refs. [14, 15]). All procedures related with the sample preparation were performed in a glove box due to the toxicity of arsenic.
Interplay of composition, structure, magnetism, and superconductivity in SmFeAs1-xPxO1-y
Apart from the metallic character of the spin-density–wave (SDW) phase in pnictides – as opposed to the Mott insulator in undoped cuprates – a second difference is that the SDW in pnictides breaks the four-fold symmetry of the iron-arsenic planes down to a two-fold symmetry.
Breaking of four-fold lattice symmetry in a model for pnictide superconductors
The unit cell of the Fe-As plane contains two iron and two arsenic ions, however, an internal symmetry of this unit cell allows us to write the Hamiltonian in terms of a one-iron unit cell [25, 26] as long as we consider isolated planes, as is done here.
Breaking of four-fold lattice symmetry in a model for pnictide superconductors
This activity is new, and it has been attributed to arsenic 78, presumably made by a parallel reaction from the other bromine isotope.” The accepted half-life value is 90.7(2) m.
Discovery of the Arsenic Isotopes
From this measurement the half-life was determined to be 32±2 sec.” Chemical separations were performed to confirm the activity was due to arsenic.
Discovery of the Arsenic Isotopes