Acid
Acid Ac"id, n. 1. A sour substance. [1913 Webster]

2. (Chem.) One of a class of compounds, generally but not always distinguished by their sour taste, solubility in water, and reddening of vegetable blue or violet colors. They are also characterized by the power of destroying the distinctive properties of alkalies or bases, combining with them to form salts, at the same time losing their own peculiar properties. They all contain hydrogen, united with a more negative element or radical, either alone, or more generally with oxygen, and take their names from this negative element or radical. Those which contain no oxygen are sometimes called {hydracids} in distinction from the others which are called {oxygen acids} or {oxacids}. [1913 Webster]

Note: In certain cases, sulphur, selenium, or tellurium may take the place of oxygen, and the corresponding compounds are called respectively {sulphur acids} or {sulphacids}, {selenium acids}, or {tellurium acids}. When the hydrogen of an acid is replaced by a positive element or radical, a salt is formed, and hence acids are sometimes named as salts of hydrogen; as hydrogen nitrate for nitric acid, hydrogen sulphate for sulphuric acid, etc. In the old chemistry the name acid was applied to the oxides of the negative or nonmetallic elements, now sometimes called anhydrides. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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