chemical weapon


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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Phosgene is hazardous at very low levels, noted Schettler, and has been used as a chemical weapon in war. Jill Neimark, STAT, 21 Feb. 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 the CDC. Aya Elamroussi, CNN, 17 Feb. 2023 Many troops were exposed to a class of chemicals called organophosphates, which include everything from pesticides to sarin gas, a chemical weapon. Florence Williams, Discover Magazine, 30 July 2014 Hot chillies owe their mouth-watering bite to substances call capsaicinoids – a unique breed of chemical weapon wielded only by these plants. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 20 Dec. 2011 For every airplane, computer or chemical weapon appearing in our archives, there are a ton of other inventions that are, to put it bluntly, rather pointless. Jennifer Welsh, Discover Magazine, 11 Mar. 2011 That’s because the bombardier beetle is a walking chemical weapon. Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, 6 Feb. 2018 In August 2020, my father survived a chemical weapon poisoning with Novichok performed by FSB officers and, several months after recovering, successfully investigated his own assassination attempt. Dasha Navalnaya, Time, 6 Dec. 2022 The United States limited the export of fentanyl to Russia and Belarus, warning it could be used as a chemical weapon to support the invasion. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chemical weapon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 24 Mar. 2023.

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