formic (adj.)

1791 (in formic acid), literally "from ants," coined from Latin formica "ant" (see Formica (n.2)). The acid first was obtained in a fairly pure form in 1749 by German chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf (1709-1782), who prepared it by distilling red ants. It also is found in nettles and bee stings.

Share