Definition of arsenic noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈɑːsnɪk//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːrsnɪk//
[uncountable] (symbol As)
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a chemical element. Arsenic is an extremely poisonous white powder. The doctor found traces of arsenic in his body. chocolates laced with arsenic Word Originlate Middle English (denoting yellow orpiment (a mineral), arsenic sulphide): via Old French from Latin arsenicum, from Greek arsenikon ‘yellow orpiment’, identified with arsenikos ‘male’, but in fact from Arabic al-zarnīk̲ ‘the orpiment’ (a bright yellow mineral), based on Persian zar ‘gold’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: arsenic

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