Meaning of cyanogen in English:


Pronunciation /sʌɪˈanədʒ(ə)n/


mass nounChemistry
  • A colourless flammable highly poisonous gas made by oxidizing hydrogen cyanide.

    Chemical formula: C₂N₂

    ‘The spectra that are observed indicate that small molecules, such as cyanide, methane, and cyanogen, can assemble in outer space.’
    • ‘Cytosine can be formed by reacting cyanoacetylene with cyanate, cyanogen or urea, and uracil can be produced by the hydrolysis of cytosine.’
    • ‘Years earlier scientists had detected cyanogen, a poisonous gas, in the tail of a comet.’
    • ‘The roots of the cassava plant contain linamarin, a cyanogen which produces the poisonous chemical cyanide when eaten.’
    • ‘Sodium nitroprusside is metabolized into cyanogen, which is converted into thiocyanate by the enzyme thiosulfate sulfurtransferase.’


Early 19th century from French cyanogène, from Greek kuanos ‘dark blue mineral’ + -gène (see -gen), so named because it is a constituent of Prussian blue.