Mephitic air

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(Chem.) carbon dioxide; - so called because of its deadly suffocating power. See Carbonic acid, under Carbonic.

See also: Mephitic

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1772, Daniel Rutherford discovered something that he called "mephitic air." We now know it as nitrogen.