chemical weapon


: a weapon (such as mustard gas or sarin) used in chemical warfare

Examples of chemical weapon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dow manufactured napalm, the chemical weapon used by the military to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam while severely burning and killing substantial numbers of civilians. TIME, 10 May 2024 Numerous charges have been leveled against the alleged kingpin, including for murder, kidnapping, assault, racketeering, bank fraud, use of a chemical weapon and cocaine distribution. Christina Coulter, Fox News, 9 Jan. 2024 Then, in August, 2020, the F.S.B. poisoned Navalny with Novichok, a chemical weapon. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 17 Feb. 2024 The unidentified individual offered to provide guidance on missiles and unmanned aircraft, as well as the construction of a chemical weapon. Joby Warrick, Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2023 Of those, the vinyl chloride gas that caught fire could break down into compounds including hydrogen chloride and phosgene, a chemical weapon used during World War I as a choking agent, according to the EPA and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, 15 Feb. 2023 Is tear gas a chemical weapon? Janice Chambers, The Conversation, 4 June 2020 Vinyl chloride, for example, the chemical that was carried in five of the cars, can cause toxic fumes made up of new compounds like carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride and phosgene, a substance classified as a lethal chemical weapon in World War I, according to Dr. Prunicki. Emily Baumgaertner, New York Times, 9 Mar. 2023 Although many of these protests are peaceful, in several cases, participants are being met by police in riot gear, who are using extreme crowd control methods, including tear gas — a chemical weapon that was banned in war in 1993 — and rubber bullets, which can do some serious damage. Elizabeth Gulino,, 2 June 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chemical weapon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1920, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chemical weapon was in 1920

Dictionary Entries Near chemical weapon

Cite this Entry

“Chemical weapon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on chemical weapon

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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