ac·​cel·​er·​ant | \ik-ˈse-lə-rənt, ak-\

Definition of accelerant 

: a substance used to accelerate a process (such as the spreading of a fire)

Examples of accelerant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The confirmation battle was an accelerant for a trend already under way. Karl Rove, WSJ, "The GOP’s October Comeback," 17 Oct. 2018 Our headphones are about to change dramatically, and Microsoft just put an accelerant into the furnace of change with its new Surface Headphones. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "The headphone wars have begun," 3 Oct. 2018 The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Sharp said State Police told him no accelerants were used and the fire appeared to be accidental. Brandon Patterson, Detroit Free Press, "Sharp Funeral Home in Swartz Creek destroyed in fire," 17 May 2018 The items often were set ablaze with jet fuel as the accelerant. Perry Chiaramonte | Fox News, Fox News, "Lawmakers demand answers at hearing over how VA is helping tens of thousands of burn pit victims," 7 June 2018 Her goal is to identify whether someone used accelerants, like gasoline or other flamable materials, to feed the blaze. Gal Tziperman Lotan,, "Orlando welcomes Nessie, the four-legged fire investigator," 23 May 2018 Jason Revoldt to learn how to identify accelerants. Gal Tziperman Lotan,, "Orlando welcomes Nessie, the four-legged fire investigator," 23 May 2018 Still, the Ithaca police chief at the time told reporters that a chemist had found an accelerant. New York Times, "Never Solved, a College Dorm Fire Has Become One Man’s Obsession," 13 Apr. 2018 While police initially thought a downed power line was the source of a fire around Bernard’s remains, subsequent inspection determined an accelerant had been used, leading investigators toward foul play. Christine Pelisek,, "Pregnant Woman's Husband Allegedly Murdered Her — Then Murdered Her Dad and Tried to Cut Her Up," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accelerant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of accelerant

1824, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for accelerant

acceler(ate) + -ant entry 1

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Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for accelerant

The first known use of accelerant was in 1824

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to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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