word-forming element used in science for the carbon-nitrogen compound radical, from a Latinized form of Greek kyanos "dark blue" (see cyan).
The immediate source of its use in science is French cyanogène, the name given to the compound radical by Gay-Lussac. He called it that because it first had been obtained by heating the dye pigment powder known as Prussian blue (see Prussian).
The cyanogen radical was one of the first examples of a 'compound radical' and was of importance in the development of structural chemistry during the next forty years. [Flood, "Origins of Chemical Names"]
word-forming element in chemistry, often interchangeable with -in (2), though modern use distinguishes them; early 19c., from French -ine, the suffix commonly used to form words for derived substances, hence its extended use in chemistry. It was applied unsystematically at first (as in aniline), but now has more restricted use.
The French suffix is from Latin -ina, fem. form of -inus, suffix used to form adjectives from nouns, and thus is identical with -ine (1).