Sulphuric acid
Sulphuric Sul*phu"ric, a. [Cf. F. sulfurique.] 1. Of or pertaining to sulphur; as, a sulphuric smell. [1913 Webster]

2. (Chem.) Derived from, or containing, sulphur; specifically, designating those compounds in which the element has a higher valence as contrasted with the sulphurous compounds; as, sulphuric acid. [1913 Webster]

{Sulphuric acid}. (a) Sulphur trioxide (see under {Sulphur}); -- formerly so called on the dualistic theory of salts. [Obs.] (b) A heavy, corrosive, oily liquid, {H2SO4}, colorless when pure, but usually yellowish or brownish, produced by the combined action of sulphur dioxide, oxygen (from the air), steam, and nitric fumes. It attacks and dissolves many metals and other intractable substances, sets free most acids from their salts, and is used in the manufacture of hydrochloric and nitric acids, of soda, of bleaching powders, etc. It is also powerful dehydrating agent, having a strong affinity for water, and eating and corroding paper, wood, clothing, etc. It is thus used in the manufacture of ether, of imitation parchment, and of nitroglycerin. It is also used in etching iron, in removing iron scale from forgings, in petroleum refining, etc., and in general its manufacture is the most important and fundamental of all the chemical industries. Formerly called {vitriolic acid}, and now popularly {vitriol}, and {oil of vitriol}.

{Fuming sulphuric acid}, or {Nordhausen sulphuric acid}. See {Disulphuric acid}, under {Disulphuric}.

{Sulphuric anhydride}, sulphur trioxide. See under {Sulphur}.

{Sulphuric ether}, common an[ae]sthetic ether; -- so called because made by the catalytic action of sulphuric acid on alcohol. See {Ether}, 3 (a) . [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • sulphuric acid — ► NOUN ▪ a strong acid made by oxidizing solutions of sulphur dioxide …   English terms dictionary

  • sulphuric acid — Sulphur Sul phur, n. [L., better sulfur: cf. F. soufre.] 1. (Chem.) A nonmetallic element occurring naturally in large quantities, either combined as in the sulphides (as pyrites) and sulphates (as gypsum), or native in volcanic regions, in vast… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sulphuric acid — [[t]sʌlfjʊ͟ərɪk æ̱sɪd[/t]] N UNCOUNT Sulphuric acid is a colourless, oily, and very powerful acid. (in AM, use sulfuric acid) …   English dictionary

  • sulphuric acid — noun (H2SO4) a highly corrosive acid made from sulfur dioxide; widely used in the chemical industry • Syn: ↑vitriol, ↑oil of vitriol, ↑sulfuric acid • Derivationally related forms: ↑vitriolic (for: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • sulphuric acid — a powerful corrosive acid, H2SO4, widely used in industry. Swallowing the acid causes severe burning of the mouth and throat and difficulty in breathing, speaking, and swallowing. The patient should drink large quantities of milk or water or… …   Medical dictionary

  • sulphuric acid — sul|phu|ric ac|id BrE sulfuric acid AmE [sʌlˌfjuərık ˈæsıd US ˌfjur ] n [U] a powerful acid …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sulphuric acid — strong acid that attacks organic compounds, acid used in refining and industry …   English contemporary dictionary

  • sulphuric acid — BrE, sulfuric acid AmE noun (U) a powerful acid …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • sulphuric acid — a powerful corrosive acid, H2SO4, widely used in industry. Swallowing the acid causes severe burning of the mouth and throat and difficulty in breathing, speaking, and swallowing. The patient should drink large quantities of milk or water or… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • sulphuric acid — /sʌlˌfjurɪk ˈæsəd/ (say sul.fyoohrik asuhd) noun the dibasic acid of sulphur, H2SO4, a colourless, corrosive, oily liquid, made from sulphur trioxide and used in many industrial processes; oil of vitriol. Also, sulfuric acid …   Australian English dictionary

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