chemical

adjective
chem·​i·​cal | \ ˈke-mi-kəl How to pronounce chemical (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from chemical

Adjective

chemically \ ˈke-​mi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce chemically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of chemical in a Sentence

Adjective They studied the compound's chemical structure.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Scientists debated the role of trade winds and the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Jennifer Tucker, The Conversation, "From their balloons, the first aeronauts transformed our view of the world," 6 Dec. 2019 The report says the industry standard and regulations for the chemical composition of pipes used in refineries has been updated periodically since then. Washington Post, "Aging, thin pipe likely cause of Philadelphia refinery fire," 16 Oct. 2019 The rover will use its cameras and two instruments to analyze the chemical composition of the lunar soil. Wired, "India Is Ready to Touch Down Near the Moon’s South Pole," 5 Sep. 2019 The study took previous data on the chemical composition of methane in the atmosphere and applied a series of equations to parse out how much of this lighter form of methane could be attributed to shale gas. Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, "Fracking boom tied to methane spike in Earth’s atmosphere," 15 Aug. 2019 The chemical composition of plastics is different, some of those component materials are contaminants, and that means polluting emissions when processed. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al, "’Work with us, have patience’ says Huntsville’s new recycling program," 2 Aug. 2019 What’s more, new data out this week shed light on the chemical composition of the rings of Saturn, giving scientists more insight on these particles and their potential role in how rings are shaped and formed. Shannon Stirone, WIRED, "Space Photos of the Week: Saturn’s Rings Are Feelin’ Groovy," 22 June 2019 The mantle material was discovered using the Visible and Near Infrared Spectrometer on Yutu-2, which can ascertain the chemical composition of rocks by studying their reflected light. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "From the Lunar Far Side, China’s Rover Reveals the Moon’s Hidden Depths," 15 May 2019 There’s even a difference in chemical composition depending on what part of the plant is used. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Adaptogenic dusts, oils, and pills have a veneer of science, but there’s not much evidence to back them up.," 2 Nov. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun City of Milwaukee crews on Thursday night were already working to treat streets with anti-icing chemicals in anticipation of the storm. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Winter storm watch issued as big weekend snowstorm sets a course for southern, eastern Wisconsin," 9 Jan. 2020 Electro-Plating Services was the site of a $1.5-million cleanup after regulators found numerous deteriorating drums and tanks brimming with toxic chemicals stored inside the factory in December 2016. Steve Pepple, Detroit Free Press, "Gov. Whitmer says her office reviewing criminal charges against 'green ooze' polluter," 30 Dec. 2019 When a vaccine containing one of these chemicals was used, the immune system wasn't stimulated to limit the tumors' growth. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Injecting the flu vaccine into a tumor gets the immune system to attack it," 30 Dec. 2019 Like other researchers around the world, the Utah team traditionally studied animals with healthy brains, inducing seizures one at a time with chemicals or electroshock. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "As epilepsy drugs fail nearly one-third of patients, scientists seek root causes of seizures," 12 Dec. 2019 In 2004 traces of the chemicals were discovered in drinking water in Oakdale, Lake Elmo, Woodbury, St. Paul Park and Cottage Grove. Bob Shaw, Twin Cities, "Cottage Grove to build filtration plant for 3M pollution," 3 Dec. 2019 In Teviston today, one shallow well contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals provides water for 350 people, according to Juan Carlos Mariano, who manages the town’s water district. New York Times, "How Racism Ripples Through Rural California’s Pipes," 29 Nov. 2019 But a black plume of smoke with unidentified chemicals or carcinogens being blown into neighboring communities the day before Thanksgiving? Julie Garcia, Houston Chronicle, "An explosion, then panic: Latest Texas chemical plant blast highlights life in a company town," 27 Nov. 2019 As a result, the coalition of leafy-green growers decided to ban the use of surface water unless it is treated with anti-bacterial chemicals 21 days before harvest. Kimberly Kindy And Joel Achenbach, chicagotribune.com, "Romaine lettuce keeps getting recalled for E. coli contamination," 27 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of chemical

Adjective

1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1739, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chemical

Time Traveler for chemical

Time Traveler

The first known use of chemical was in 1576

See more words from the same year

Statistics for chemical

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chemical.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chemical. Accessed 18 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chemical

chemical

adjective
How to pronounce chemical (audio)

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 How to pronounce chemical (audio) \

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 How to pronounce chemical (audio) \

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 How to pronounce chemically (audio) \ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on chemical

What made you want to look up chemical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

experienced by way of someone else

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!