- 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.
adjective ar·sen·ic [ahr-sen-ik] /ɑrˈsɛn ɪk/
- of or containing arsenic, especially in the pentavalent state.
- 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
- 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 ).
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.
n. Symbol As
- A poisonous metallic element, compounds of which are used as antamebics. Atomic number 33.
- Of or containing arsenic, especially with valence 5.
- 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.