car·​cin·​o·​gen | \ kär-ˈsi-nə-jən , ˈkär-sə-nə-ˌjen \

Definition of carcinogen

: a substance or agent causing cancer

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Other Words from carcinogen

carcinogenic \ ˌkär-​sə-​nō-​ˈje-​nik \ adjective
carcinogenicity \ ˌkär-​sə-​nō-​jə-​ˈni-​sə-​tē \ noun

Examples of carcinogen in a Sentence

Cigarette smoke contains known carcinogens.

Recent Examples on the Web

In fact, these dual-users showed higher levels of nicotine and many of the toxicants, including two heavy metals and some of the carcinogens. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Is vaping better than smoking? Scientists studied pee to find out," 14 Dec. 2018 Health organizations globally recognize asbestos as a carcinogen, causing cancers like mesothelioma and ovarian cancer, especially among people like miners, construction workers, and factory employees who have been exposed to it in large quantities. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Johnson & Johnson accused of hiding the asbestos in its baby powder for decades," 14 Dec. 2018 As part of that plan, Gottlieb has suggested some smokers could be directed toward alternative products that deliver nicotine without the carcinogens of cigarettes. Fox News, "Calling teen vaping 'epidemic,' officials weigh flavor ban," 13 Sep. 2018 California already considers the Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, to be a carcinogen, as does the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. Lucas Laursen, Fortune, "Why Monsanto Could Soon Get Hit With a Flood of Cancer-Related Lawsuits," 11 July 2018 There’s no way that apple-pie and fresh vanilla ice cream scent doesn’t contain carcinogens right? Sam Gutierrez, House Beautiful, "Are Your Favorite Candles Slowly Poisoning You?," 26 Dec. 2018 Investigators looked for heavy metals and markers for carcinogens that could raise the risk of cancer. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Is vaping better than smoking? Scientists studied pee to find out," 14 Dec. 2018 When houses and structures begin to burn, as is happening in California right now, the materials inside—cleaning supplies, plastic furniture and appliances, diesel tanks—can produce toxic gases and carcinogens. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "The Dangerous Health Risks That Could Follow the California Wildfires," 16 Nov. 2018 Juul was initially designed as a tool to help smokers quit smoking, since the devices don't include tar or deadly carcinogens. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Here’s Everything You Need To Know About the Juul Flavor Ban," 15 Nov. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of carcinogen

1853, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

25 Jan 2019

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The first known use of carcinogen was in 1853

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English Language Learners Definition of carcinogen

medical : a substance that can cause cancer


car·​cin·​o·​gen | \ kär-ˈsin-ə-jən , ˈkärs-ᵊn-ə-ˌjen \

Medical Definition of carcinogen

: a substance or agent causing cancer

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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

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