chemical

adjective
chem·​i·​cal | \ ˈke-mi-kəl \

Definition of chemical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, used in, or produced by chemistry or the phenomena of chemistry chemical reactions
2a : acting or operated or produced by chemicals a chemical fire extinguisher
b : detectable by chemical means

chemical

noun

Definition of chemical (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a substance obtained by a chemical process or producing a chemical effect

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Other Words from chemical

Adjective

chemically \ ˈke-​mi-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of chemical in a Sentence

Adjective

They studied the compound's chemical structure.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Instead, Juul mixes freebase nicotine with an acid, setting off a chemical reaction that produces the salts. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Juul’s nicotine salts are dominating the market — and other companies want in," 21 Nov. 2018 Launched today just west of Hamburg, the Coradia iLint trains are the very first in the world to create electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "The World's First Hydrogen-Powered Train Just Arrived in Germany," 17 Sep. 2018 Vinegar’s active ingredient, acetic acid, can be produced naturally through bacterial fermentation, as in apple cider vinegar, or industrially, via chemical reactions from such source materials as methanol. Margaret Roach, Good Housekeeping, "Why It Can Be Dangerous to Use Vinegar to Kill Weeds," 15 Aug. 2018 And also, in Texas, officials say a gas leak caused an explosion and flash fire at a chemical plant near Houston. Fox News, "Gutfeld: Laurel or Yanny is greatest metaphor for media bias," 20 May 2018 The chemical plant is one of Saratoga County’s largest employers. Ian Frisch, Longreads, "The Strike: Chemicals, Cancer, and the Fight for Health Care," 16 Apr. 2018 Allied Signal had a chemical plant here, and DuPont made industrial-grade alcohol. Jacques Kelly, baltimoresun.com, "Jacques Kelly: Bridging to past with an ambitious future at Harbor Point," 7 Apr. 2018 Nearly half a billion gallons of industrial wastewater mixed with storm water surged out of just one of these chemical plants. Frank Bajak And Lise Olsen, The Christian Science Monitor, "After Harvey, unpublicized chemical spills come to light," 22 Mar. 2018 Two small fires were still burning at a chemical plant in Hood County as five local agencies resumed the search for a man identified by WFAA as Dylan Mitchell, 27, a worker who has been missing since the March 15 explosions at the plant. Stephen English, star-telegram, "Five days later, fires still burn at Cresson chemical plant where worker disappeared | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 19 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Same with people who are exposed to strong chemicals or odors on the job (like in a factory or fast food kitchen) or people who get dirty or exert themselves physically while working outdoors. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How Often Should You Really Shower?," 10 Jan. 2019 Resistant weeds are spreading across the U.S. Farm Belt, cutting into farmers’ harvests and boosting their spending on chemicals. Jacob Bunge, WSJ, "China’s GMO Ruling Hands U.S. Farmers New Tool in Battle Against Weeds," 8 Jan. 2019 There’s a lot of baseless fearmongering about chemicals in consumer products now, and certainly there are lawyers who will try to capitalize on this latest bad news for Johnson & Johnson. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Johnson & Johnson accused of hiding the asbestos in its baby powder for decades," 14 Dec. 2018 Under the law, some cancers and other illnesses are assumed to be due to chemical or radiological exposures at Hanford unless that presumption can be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "Justice Department sues Washington state over law to compensate sick Hanford workers," 11 Dec. 2018 Marmur and Sadick agree that pads with a rough texture or made from a material that has been bleached or treated with other chemicals can be too harsh on skin and trigger allergic reactions. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Korean Cotton Pads Are the Secret to a Proper K-Beauty Skin Routine," 4 Oct. 2018 That liquid usually contains nicotine along with a mixture of chemicals and flavorings. Karen Kaplan, The Seattle Times, "Vaping among teens spikes, luring new generation of kids into tobacco use," 18 Dec. 2018 And bioweapons have specific characteristics that make verification and enforcement difficult compared to chemical and nuclear weapons. R. Daniel Bressler, Vox, "“Designer bugs”: how the next pandemic might come from a lab," 6 Dec. 2018 Whoever came up with it is an artisan of chemicals and fragrance. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "Too Faced's Gingerbread Lipstick Is the Only Thing I Want to Wear All Winter," 6 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chemical.' 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 chemical

Adjective

1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1739, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for chemical

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chemical

The first known use of chemical was in 1576

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More Definitions for chemical

chemical

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of chemical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to chemistry

: working by means of chemicals

chemical

noun

English Language Learners Definition of chemical (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance (such as an element or compound) that is made by a chemical process

chemical

adjective
chem·​i·​cal | \ ˈke-mi-kəl \

Kids Definition of chemical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to chemistry or chemicals

Other Words from chemical

chemically adverb

chemical

noun

Kids Definition of chemical (Entry 2 of 2)

: any substance (as an acid) that is formed when two or more other substances act upon one another or that is used to produce a change in another substance

chemical

adjective
chem·​i·​cal | \ ˈkem-i-kəl \

Medical Definition of chemical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, used in, or produced by chemistry
2a : acting or operated or produced by chemicals
b : detectable by chemical means

Other Words from chemical

chemically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

chemical

noun

Medical Definition of chemical (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a substance (as an element or chemical compound) obtained by a chemical process or used for producing a chemical effect

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More from Merriam-Webster on chemical

Spanish Central: Translation of chemical

Nglish: Translation of chemical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chemical for Arabic Speakers

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