For"mic (?), a. [L. formica an ant: cf. F. formique.] Chem.
Pertaining to, or derived from, ants; as, formic acid; in an extended sense, pertaining to, or derived from, formic acid; as, formic ether.
Amido formic acid, carbamic acid. -- Formic acid, a colorless, mobile liquid, HCO.OH, of a sharp, acid taste, occurring naturally in ants, nettles, pine needles, etc., and produced artifically in many ways, as by the oxidation of methyl alcohol, by the reduction of carbonic acid or the destructive distillation of oxalic acid. It is the first member of the fatty acids in the paraffin series, and is homologous with acetic acid.
© Webster 1913.