inheritance powder

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

So called because one person might murder another to gain an inheritance.

Noun[edit]

inheritance powder (plural inheritance powders)

  1. (historical) Any of several poisons used for murder, but especially arsenic and, to a lesser extent, thallium.
    • 2016, Kerry Greenwood, Murder and Mendelssohn, Sydney: Allen and Unwin, page 316:
      `Arsenic was very popular in the old days [...] Inheritance powder, they called it. Pure, deadly, white, dissolves in any weak acid.'