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 Calvert City stood out, particularly for its concentrations of ethylene dichloride, a potent human carcinogen. Kathleen Flynn, ProPublica, 20 May 2022 Allison Brown, a Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom lawyer representing Huahai in the U.S., said the company couldn’t have known based solely on the email that a carcinogen would be formed in its production of valsartan. Anna Edney, Fortune, 7 May 2022 Benzene is a carcinogen, and substantial exposure can cause leukemia, blood cancer of the bone marrow, and life-threatening blood disorders, the FDA said. Zoe Sottile, CNN, 2 Apr. 2022 The use of herbicides was standard; the toxicity of these chemicals, like RoundUp, which has been shown to be a carcinogen, was not yet common knowledge. Jess Lander, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Mar. 2022 Benzene is classified as a carcinogen, and substantial exposure can lead to cancers including leukemia, blood cancer and life-threatening blood disorders, the recall stated. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 4 Apr. 2022 The substance is also classified as a human carcinogen. Chris Smith, BGR, 4 Apr. 2022 Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen, said the FDA. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, 4 Apr. 2022 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that begins in the lymphatic system, can be caused by exposure to ethylene oxide, a potent carcinogen released by the BCP Ingredients plant in Verona. Lisa Song, ProPublica, 25 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of carcinogen

1853, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for carcinogen

Time Traveler

The first known use of carcinogen was in 1853

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Dictionary Entries Near carcinogen

carcinoembryonic antigen



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Statistics for carcinogen

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Carcinogen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for carcinogen


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

More from Merriam-Webster on carcinogen

Nglish: Translation of carcinogen for Spanish Speakers

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


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