Header image of wall of bricks Open menu Close menu


A binary compound of a nonmetallic or electronegative element.

German -id, taken from French oxide, an oxide, created by analogy with the ending of acide, acid.

Perhaps the most common example is oxide, a compound of oxygen with any other element. The ending also appears in the names of numerous other binary inorganic compounds; by standard chemical naming, it is attached to the contracted form of the more electronegative of the pair of elements involved: fluoride, chloride, bromide, iodide, sulphide, selenide, telluride, hydride, nitride, arsenide, and so on.

The ending is also used to denote compounds that are derivatives of organic radicals: peptide, saccharide, amide, anhydride, cyanide, anilide, etc.

A rarer use is to indicate membership of a group of elements within the periodic table, such as lanthanide and actinide; such names are created from the contracted name of the first element in the series, in these cases lanthanum and actinium.

Copyright © Michael Quinion 2008–. All rights reserved. Your comments are very welcome.