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mercury

4 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Poison \Poi"son\, noun [F. poison, in Old French also, a potion, fr. L. potio a drink, draught, potion, a poisonous draught, fr. potare to drink. See {Potable}, and cf. {Potion}.]

1. Any agent which, when introduced into the animal organism, is capable of producing a morbid, noxious, or deadly effect upon it; as, morphine is a deadly poison; the poison of pestilential diseases.

2. That which taints or destroys moral purity or health; as, the poison of evil example; the poison of sin.

{Poison ash}. (Bot.) (a) A tree of the genus {Amyris} ({Amyris balsamifera}) found in the West Indies, from the trunk of which a black liquor distills, supposed to have poisonous qualities. (b) The poison sumac ({Rhus venenata}). [U. S.]

{Poison dogwood} (Bot.), poison sumac.

{Poison fang} (Zool.), one of the superior maxillary teeth of some species of serpents, which, besides having the cavity for the pulp, is either perforated or grooved by a longitudinal canal, at the lower end of which the duct of the poison gland terminates. See Illust. under {Fang}.

{Poison gland} (Biol.), a gland, in animals or plants, which secretes an acrid or venomous matter, that is conveyed along an organ capable of inflicting a wound.

{Poison hemlock} (Bot.), a poisonous umbelliferous plant ({Conium maculatum}). See {Hemlock}.

{Poison ivy} (Bot.), a poisonous climbing plant (formerly {Rhus Toxicodendron}, or {Rhus radicans}, now classified as {Toxicodendron radicans}) of North America. It is common as a climbing vine, especially found on tree trunks, or walls, or as a low, spreading vine or as a shrub. As a low vine it grows well in lightly shaded areas, recognizable by growing in clusters of three leaves. Its leaves are trifoliate, rhombic-ovate, and variously notched. Its form varies slightly from location to location, leading to some speculation that it may consist of more than one species. Many people are poisoned by it, though some appear resistant to its effects. Touching the leaves may leave a residue of an oil on the skin, and if not washed off quickly, sensitive areas of skin become reddened and develop multiple small blisters, lasting for several days to several weeks, and causing a persistent itch. The toxic reaction is due to an oil, present in all parts of the plant except the pollen, called {urushiol}, the active component of which is the compound {pentadecylacatechol} (according to [a

href="http:]/www.jaxmed.com/articles/Diseases/poison_ivy_dermatitis.htm">Charles H. Booras). See {Poison sumac}. It is related to {poison oak}, and is also called {mercury}.

{Poison nut}. (Bot.) (a) Nux vomica. (b) The tree which yields this seed ({Strychnos Nuxvomica}). It is found on the Malabar and Coromandel coasts.

{Poison oak} (Bot.), a dermatitis-producing plant often lumped together with the poison ivy ({Toxicodendron radicans}) in common terminology, but more properly distinguished as the more shrubby {Toxicodendron quercifolium} (syn. {Toxicodendron diversilobum}), common in California and Oregon. Opinion varies as to whether the poison oak and poison ivy are only variants of a single species. See {poison ivy}, above.

{Poison sac}. (Zool.) Same as {Poison gland}, above. See Illust. under {Fang}.

{Poison sumac} (Bot.), a poisonous shrub formerly considered to be of the genus {Rhus} ({Rhus venenata}), but now classified as {Toxicodendron vernix}; -- also called {poison ash}, {poison dogwood}, and {poison elder}. It has pinnate leaves on graceful and slender common petioles, and usually grows in swampy places. Both this plant and the poison ivy ({Toxicodendron radicans}, formerly {Rhus Toxicodendron}) have clusters of smooth greenish white berries, while the red-fruited species of this genus are harmless. The tree ({Rhus vernicifera}) which yields the celebrated Japan lacquer is almost identical with the poison sumac, and is also very poisonous. The juice of the poison sumac also forms a lacquer similar to that of Japan. [1913 Webster +PJC]

Syn: Venom; virus; bane; pest; malignity.

Usage: {Poison}, {Venom}. Poison usually denotes something received into the system by the mouth, breath, etc. Venom is something discharged from animals and received by means of a wound, as by the bite or sting of serpents, scorpions, etc. Hence, venom specifically implies some malignity of nature or purpose.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Mercury \Mer"cu*ry\, noun [L. Mercurius; akin to merx wares.]

1. (Rom. Myth.) A Latin god of commerce and gain; -- treated by the poets as identical with the Greek Hermes, messenger of the gods, conductor of souls to the lower world, and god of eloquence.

2. (Chem.) A metallic element mostly obtained by reduction from cinnabar, one of its ores. It is a heavy, opaque, glistening liquid (commonly called {quicksilver}), and is used in barometers, thermometers, etc. Specific gravity 13.6. Symbol Hg (Hydrargyrum). Atomic weight 199.8. Mercury has a molecule which consists of only one atom. It was named by the alchemists after the god Mercury, and designated by his symbol, [mercury].

Note: Mercury forms alloys, called amalgams, with many metals, and is thus used in applying tin foil to the backs of mirrors, and in extracting gold and silver from their ores. It is poisonous, and is used in medicine in the free state as in blue pill, and in its compounds as calomel, corrosive sublimate, etc. It is the only metal which is liquid at ordinary temperatures, and it solidifies at about -39[deg] Centigrade to a soft, malleable, ductile metal.

3. (Astron.) One of the planets of the solar system, being the one nearest the sun, from which its mean distance is about 36,000,000 miles. Its period is 88 days, and its diameter 3,000 miles.

4. A carrier of tidings; a newsboy; a messenger; hence, also, a newspaper. --Sir J. Stephen. "The monthly Mercuries." --Macaulay.

5. Sprightly or mercurial quality; spirit; mutability; fickleness. [Obs.]

He was so full of mercury that he could not fix long in any friendship, or to any design. --Bp. Burnet.

6. (Bot.) A plant ({Mercurialis annua}), of the Spurge family, the leaves of which are sometimes used for spinach, in Europe.

Note: The name is also applied, in the United States, to certain climbing plants, some of which are poisonous to the skin, esp. to the {Rhus Toxicodendron}, or poison ivy.

{Dog's mercury} (Bot.), {Mercurialis perennis}, a perennial plant differing from {Mercurialis annua} by having the leaves sessile.

{English mercury} (Bot.), a kind of goosefoot formerly used as a pot herb; -- called {Good King Henry}.

{Horn mercury} (Min.), a mineral chloride of mercury, having a semitranslucent, hornlike appearance.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Mercury \Mer"cu*ry\, verb (used with an object) To wash with a preparation of mercury. [Obs.] --B. Jonson.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

mercury

noun

1: a heavy silvery toxic univalent and bivalent metallic element; the only metal that is liquid at ordinary temperatures [syn: {mercury}, {quicksilver}, {hydrargyrum}, {Hg}, {atomic number 80}]

2: (Roman mythology) messenger of Jupiter and god of commerce; counterpart of Greek Hermes

3: the smallest planet and the nearest to the sun

4: temperature measured by a mercury thermometer; "the mercury was falling rapidly"

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Definitions retrieved from the Open Source DICT Webster's English and WordNet 3.0 dictionaries. Click here for database copyright information.

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