An acid (from the Latin acidus meaning sour) is traditionally considered any chemical compound that, when dissolved in water, gives a solution with a hydrogen ion activity greater than in pure water, i.e. a pH less than 7.0.

Acid/base systems are different from redox reactions in that there is no change in oxidation state. Acids can occur in solid, liquid or gaseous form, depending on the temperature. They can exist as pure substances or in solution.

Chemicals or substances having the property of an acid are said to be acidic.