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

Acrylamide — a byproduct that comes from roasting coffee beans — is listed as a carcinogen in California. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Coffee actually doesn't pose cancer risk, California finds; warning signs can come down," 4 June 2019 Technically, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers NDMA a Group 2A agent, meaning it's considered a probable human carcinogen. Korin Miller, SELF, "Common Blood Pressure Medications Containing Valsartan Recalled Over 'Impurity' Concerns," 17 July 2018 However, it should be emphasized that even if humans moved en masse to another planet with zero environmental carcinogens, cancer would still exist. WSJ, "Cancer Risk Factors and the Roundup Cases," 9 Apr. 2019 The use of the clay mineral talc is specifically in question, since it's mined from underground deposits that may also contain asbestos, a classified carcinogen. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "So, About the FDA Finding Asbestos in Claire's Makeup: Here's What the Government Is Doing About It," 12 Mar. 2019 Studies show that bathing food in an acidic marinade or a rub/marinade combination, like the one in this flank steak recipe or in this ginger turmeric chicken recipe, can reduce the number of carcinogens on your plate. Andrea Thelen, Ms, Detroit Free Press, "6 tips for healthy and safe grilling," 9 July 2018 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

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

14 Jun 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 How to pronounce carcinogen (audio) , ˈkärs-ᵊn-ə-ˌjen How to pronounce carcinogen (audio) \

Medical Definition of carcinogen

: a substance or agent causing cancer

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

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