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QUESTION

# How do you define acid?

Acids can be defined as a substance that: produces protons, donates protons, or accepts electrons.

An acid was first defined by Arrhenius as a substance that produces H^+ ions. HCl ->  H^+ + Cl^- (In water)

Bronsted and Lowry expanded the definition to include a substance that donates H^+ ions (protons) to another substance.

H_2O + NH_3 -> OH^- + NH_4^+

(In this reaction the water is acting as an acid as it is donating a hydrogen ion to the ammonia.)

Lewis further expanded the definition to include any substance accepting an electron in a reaction.