Is (C≡N^-) compound a nucleophile or electrophile? ?

I answered nucleophile in this. My reasoning was because the molecule contains nitrogen that has a pair of lone electrons. Also, nitrogen has a greater electronegativity compared to carbon. Thus, giving it a partial negative sign.

I checked my answer on the book and it was correct. However, I'm not convinced in my explanation. If the Nitrogen atom has a partial negative sign, then carbon will have a partial positive sign. So, why is the compound only considered nucleophile? 

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  • DrBob1
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    This is not a molecule, it is a cyanide ANION.  The nitrogen bears a full -1 charge and is therefore powerfully nucleophilic.

  • 2 months ago

    Where that compound is stable in nature, it is basically a cloud of electrons waiting for a positive charge to come join the dance (it is a nucleophile).

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