a grayish-white element having a metallic luster, vaporizing when heated, and forming poisonous compounds. Symbol: As; atomic weight: 74.92; atomic number: 33.
a mineral, the native element, occurring in white or gray masses.
of or containing arsenic, especially in the pentavalent state.
Contemporary Examples

arsenic has been used as a poisoning agent since the Middle Ages.
No Answers in Death of Technician Linked to Andrew Breitbart Christine Pelisek November 29, 2012

arsenic, copper, lead and PCBs were found in the soil, sediment and water.
Our Most Polluted States The Daily Beast May 18, 2010

Playing this season: Annie, Steel Magnolias, and arsenic and Old Lace.
16 Surprising Things Now More Expensive Than a Night on a Carnival Cruise Kevin Fallon April 11, 2013

arsenic can also cause cardiovascular disease, which African-Americans have greater genetic susceptibility for, she said.
The Congressman Fighting for More Arsenic in Drinking Water Tim Mak July 6, 2014

Historical Examples

The consistence of arsenic is different, according to the degree of heat applied in subliming it.
Elements of the Theory and Practice of Chymistry, 5th ed. Pierre Joseph Macquer

arsenic is needed for the preservation of all specimens against moths.
Taxidermy Leon Luther Pray

arsenic would put poor Emily out of the way just as well as strychnine.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles Agatha Christie

arsenic compounds are also used in “cattle-dips” for killing vermin.
The Economic Aspect of Geology C. K. Leith

arsenical Soaps, &c.—arsenic is used in preserving the skins of animals.
Poisons: Their Effects and Detection Alexander Wynter Blyth

arsenic in the form of Fowler’s solution is often beneficial.
Special Report on Diseases of the Horse United States Department of Agriculture

noun (ˈɑːsnɪk)
a toxic metalloid element, existing in several allotropic forms, that occurs principally in realgar and orpiment and as the free element. It is used in transistors, lead-based alloys, and high-temperature brasses. Symbol: As; atomic no: 33; atomic wt: 74.92159; valency: –3, 0, +3, or +5; relative density: 5.73 (grey); melting pt: 817°C at a pressure of 3MN/m² (grey); sublimes at 613°C (grey)
a nontechnical name for arsenic trioxide
adjective (ɑːˈsɛnɪk)
of or containing arsenic, esp in the pentavalent state

late 14c., from Old French arsenic, from Latin arsenicum, from late Greek arsenikon “arsenic” (Dioscorides; Aristotle has it as sandarake), adapted from Syriac (al) zarniqa “arsenic,” from Middle Persian zarnik “gold-colored” (arsenic trisulphide has a lemon-yellow color), from Old Iranian *zarna- “golden,” from PIE root *ghel- “to shine” (see Chloe).

The form of the Greek word is folk etymology, literally “masculine,” from arsen “male, strong, virile” (cf. arseno-koites “lying with men” in New Testament) supposedly in reference to the powerful properties of the substance. The mineral (as opposed to the element) is properly orpiment, from Latin auri pigmentum, so called because it was used to make golden dyes.

arsenic ar·se·nic (är’sə-nĭk)
Symbol As
A poisonous metallic element having three allotropes, of which the gray form is the most common. Arsenic compounds are used in insecticides and solid-state doping agents. Atomic number 33; atomic weight 74.922; valence 3, 5. Gray arsenic melts at 817°C (at 28 atm pressure), sublimes at 614°C, and has a specific gravity of 5.73. adj. ar·sen·ic (är-sěn’ĭk)
Of or containing arsenic, especially with valence 5.
Symbol As
A metalloid element most commonly occurring as a gray crystal, but also found as a yellow crystal and in other forms. Arsenic and its compounds are highly poisonous and are used to make insecticides, weed killers, and various alloys. Atomic number 33; atomic weight 74.922; valence 3, 5. Gray arsenic melts at 817°C (at 28 atm pressure), sublimes at 613°C, and has a specific gravity of 5.73. See Periodic Table.


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