car·​ci·​no·​gen·​ic | \ ˌkär-sə-nō-ˈje-nik How to pronounce carcinogenic (audio) \

Definition of carcinogenic

: producing or tending to produce cancer a carcinogenic substance/compound/chemical a chemical that has been found to have carcinogenic effects Removing the carcinogenic mineral—used for years as a pipe and tank insulator—is a highly regulated process …— Jefferson Kolle

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Other Words from carcinogenic

carcinogenically \ ˌkär-​sə-​nō-​ˈje-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce carcinogenic (audio) \ adverb
The plant derivatives … are less carcinogenically active than those from the fossil fuels. — Peter Bernfeld
carcinogenicity \ ˌkär-​sə-​nō-​jə-​ˈni-​sə-​tē How to pronounce carcinogenic (audio) \ noun
The scientist, Dr. Bruce Ames, of the University of California at Berkeley, was the developer of the most widely used rapid laboratory test … for detecting the probable carcinogenicity of chemicals. — Philip M. Boffey

Did You Know?

It sometimes seems as if the list of carcinogenic substances gets longer every day. A substance such as a food additive that's been in common use for years may unexpectedly show signs of being carcinogenic in laboratory experiments. When that happens, the suspected carcinogen will often have to be withdrawn from the market. When a building material like asbestos turns out to be a carcinogen, it may also have to be physically removed from buildings. English has hundreds of other scientific words ending in -genic (such as allergenic), and in almost all of them the ending means "causing".

First Known Use of carcinogenic

1916, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of carcinogenic was in 1916

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Cite this Entry

“Carcinogenic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for carcinogenic



English Language Learners Definition of carcinogenic

medical : likely or able to cause cancer


car·​ci·​no·​gen·​ic | \ ˌkärs-ᵊn-ō-ˈjen-ik How to pronounce carcinogenic (audio) \

Medical Definition of carcinogenic

: producing or tending to produce cancer the carcinogenic action of certain chemicalsJournal of the American Medical Association

Other Words from carcinogenic

carcinogenically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce carcinogenic (audio) \ adverb
carcinogenicity \ -​jə-​ˈnis-​ət-​ē How to pronounce carcinogenic (audio) \ noun, plural carcinogenicities

More from Merriam-Webster on carcinogenic

Nglish: Translation of carcinogenic for Spanish Speakers

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