Formamide, also known as methanamide, is an amide derived from formic acid. It is a clear liquid which is miscible with water and has an ammonia-like odor. It is chemical feedstock for the manufacture of sulfa drugs, other pharmaceuticals, herbicides, pesticides and the manufacture of hydrocyanic acid. It has been used as a softener for paper and fiber. It is a solvent for many ionic compounds. It has also been used as a solvent for resins and plasticizers.
Formamides are compounds of the type RR²NCHO. One important formamide is dimethylformamide, (CH3)2NCHO.
Formamide is used in the industrial production of hydrogen cyanide. It is also used as a solvent for processing various polymers such as polyacrylonitrile.