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

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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

The agency also has warned about dangers from button-sized batteries, which when swallowed can trigger a chemical reaction that can burn holes through tissue inside the throat. Lindsey Tanner, The Seattle Times, "Swallowed toys, coins, batteries spark rise in tot ER visits," 12 Apr. 2019 If chemical agents are leaking from some of them, that’s a real problem. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Gulf of Mexico is Full of Unexploded Bombs and Mustard Gas," 28 Aug. 2018 Peatos use real cheese—not chemical agents—for flavoring. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "Is Healthy Snack Food Actually Healthy—or Just Addictive?," 18 Jan. 2019 Outside the body, chemical agents such as VX can hang around for up to three weeks. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How the Experts Identify Chemical Weapons and Prove an Attack," 7 Aug. 2018 Try to choose a physical sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, rather than chemical ingredients like oxybenzone and octyl methoxycinnamate. Dr. Leslie Baumann, miamiherald, "What are the best sunscreens for swimming and sports? | Miami Herald," 22 May 2018 The organization's inspectors have sought to gain access to the site of the attack in Douma to collect evidence of chemical agents but were forced to turn back after coming under gunfire this week. Author: Thomas Gibbons Neff, Anchorage Daily News, "Missile strikes are unlikely to stop Syria’s chemical attacks, Pentagon says," 19 Apr. 2018 The predawn attack Saturday targeted three Syrian sites that the Pentagon said were used to research, produce or stockpile chemical agents. Cathleen Decker, latimes.com, "As U.S. attacks Syria, Congress looks on cautiously and hopes for a quick conclusion," 14 Apr. 2018 Following through on the timely destruction of the chemical agents, as required by that agreement, has proved difficult. Lily Rothman, Time, "A Long, Brutal History of Chemical Weapons Lies Behind Trump's Decision to Order Airstrikes in Syria," 13 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The phenomenon of chemical-free pools remains popular throughout Europe. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Should You Put a Natural Swimming Pool In Your Backyard?," 6 May 2019 Without Oxybenzone Oxybenzone is a chemical that the FDA asked sunscreen manufacturers to provide additional information on, as recent research shows it can be absorbed through the skin more than previously thought. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, ""Consumer Reports" Just Dropped Its List of Best Sunscreens for Summer 2019," 2 May 2019 The company recycles all its plastic bags and hangers, dry-cleans its clothing with a nonhazardous chemical, and has patented its own eco-friendly garment bag. Erin Quinn-kong, Woman's Day, "Are Your Fast-Fashion Clothes Killing Farmers?," 14 Feb. 2019 After the Naval Criminal Investigative Service wraps up another case involving chemical attacks, McGee and Kasie (Diona Reasonover) are left chatting about a box of tech gifts that McGee received. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Is McGee Leaving 'NCIS?'," 15 Jan. 2019 He's also launched bombing raids on the regime of Bashar al-Assad after chemical attacks. Z. Byron Wolf, CNN, "Trump's new world order," 11 June 2018 The autocrats of Russia and Eastern Europe charge him with everything from trying to overthrow their regimes to staging fake chemical attacks in Syria. Trudy Rubin, Philly.com, "Roseanne's other twisted tweet of the week. (The one you didn't already read about) | Trudy Rubin," 1 June 2018 Further, instructions for handling require precautionary measures for handling chemicals and suggest wearing protective respiration gear, gloves, and safety glasses. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Teenagers in Indonesia Are Reportedly Boiling Menstrual Pads to Get High," 15 Nov. 2018 That might sound obvious, but in many case, modern fire departments use foam or dry chemicals that are better than old-fashioned H20 at suppressing fire. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "What To Do When Your Electric Car's on Fire," 12 Apr. 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.

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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

18 May 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 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

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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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