car·​cin·​o·​gen | \ kär-ˈsi-nə-jən How to pronounce carcinogen (audio) , ˈkär-sə-nə-ˌjen How to pronounce carcinogen (audio) \

Definition of carcinogen

: a substance or agent causing cancer

Examples of carcinogen in a Sentence

Cigarette smoke contains known carcinogens.
Recent Examples on the Web Groundwater beneath residential properties near the Englewood Rail Yard in North Houston is contaminated with creosote, a probable carcinogen according to the Environmental Protection Agency, as a result of past rail yard operations. Erin Douglas, Houston Chronicle, "Consumer advocate Erin Brockovich to speak on cancer cluster in Fifth Ward at town hall," 20 Jan. 2020 And firefighters don't have a way of tracking exactly what carcinogens they were exposed to, and when. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "Here's why 2 Arizona lawmakers shaved their heads in support of firefighters," 16 Jan. 2020 Formaldehyde, a carcinogen, until recently was a common component of wood products from laminate flooring to particleboard tables, especially those imported from China. Eleanor Cummins, The New Republic, "Fast Furniture Is an Environmental Fiasco," 14 Jan. 2020 And methylene chloride is considered a potential, probable or reasonably anticipated carcinogen by various federal agencies. Robin Lloyd, Scientific American, "Health Concerns Mount as More Old Sewer Pipes Are Lined with Plastic," 25 Nov. 2019 Our study measured 10 VOCs, including the carcinogens benzene and formaldehyde. Aaron Lamplugh, The Conversation, "Nail salon workers suffer chemical exposures that can be like working at a garage or a refinery," 21 Nov. 2019 In the 1980s, trichloroethylene, a common degreasing solvent and suspected carcinogen, was found in the wells. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "New Brighton city manager takes position in Eureka, Calif.," 11 Nov. 2019 Georgia Covington: The city has asked a company that sterilizes medical devices to temporarily stop work over air quality tests that show elevated levels of a carcinogen that leaked from the facility last month. USA TODAY, "Rare yellow cardinal sighted, escaped goat caught, fossilized bear skull found: News from around our 50 states," 18 Oct. 2019 Novartis AG’s Sandoz unit recalled generic prescription ranitidine in the U.S. last week after detecting elevated levels of the carcinogen NDMA. Anna Edneybloomberg, Los Angeles Times, "Major U.S. drugstore chains pull Zantac from shelves amid carcinogen concern," 30 Sep. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of carcinogen

1853, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about carcinogen

Time Traveler for carcinogen

Time Traveler

The first known use of carcinogen was in 1853

See more words from the same year

Statistics for carcinogen

Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Carcinogen.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for carcinogen


How to pronounce carcinogen (audio) How to pronounce carcinogen (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of carcinogen

medical : a substance that can cause cancer


car·​cin·​o·​gen | \ kär-ˈsin-ə-jən How to pronounce carcinogen (audio) , ˈkärs-ᵊn-ə-ˌjen How to pronounce carcinogen (audio) \

Medical Definition of carcinogen

: a substance or agent causing cancer

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on carcinogen

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with carcinogen

Spanish Central: Translation of carcinogen

Nglish: Translation of carcinogen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of carcinogen for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about carcinogen

Comments on carcinogen

What made you want to look up carcinogen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assert without proof or before proving

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

January 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • image1642096650
  • Which is a synonym of bonhomie?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!