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 German doctors have confirmed Navalny had symptoms of poisoning, likely by a cholinesterase inhibitor, which includes highly toxic chemical nerve agents and pesticides. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, "Another Kremlin critic is attacked, as opposition leader Navalny recovers in German hospital," 31 Aug. 2020 Before the night was over, police fired pepper balls and chemical agents into the crowd and people marched en masse to demand justice for Breonna, some later going on to shatter glass storefronts and smash nearby cars. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, "The Breonna Taylor Case: A Courier Journal newsletter that takes you beyond the headlines," 31 Aug. 2020 Cholinesterase inhibitors, also called anticholinesterases, are a compound of chemicals for which scientists have found many uses, from chemical weapons to pesticides to Alzheimer’s medicines, according to Reuters. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, "What are the chemicals doctors say may have been used to poison Alexei Navalny?," 26 Aug. 2020 They are used medically to treat Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia and in some forms are also found in chemical weapons and pesticides. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "Russia Rejects Calls for Investigation of Navalny Poisoning," 25 Aug. 2020 One of the directives from the commission required the department to publicly explain its use of chemical irritants. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here's what happened between Alfonso Morales' appointment as police chief and his demotion eight months later," 10 Aug. 2020 Trump was widely criticized after peaceful protesters were forcefully dispersed outside the White House this month with chemical irritants before a presidential photo opportunity. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "Police reforms quickly take hold across America. It's only just getting started," 14 June 2020 The week of demonstrations in DC has been a mix of peaceful and combative moments, highlighted by the use of chemical irritants against peaceful protesters on Monday to seemingly clear the way for President Trump to visit a nearby church. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "Protesters kneel at MLK memorial in DC to honor George Floyd and others who died in police custody," 4 June 2020 The term tear gas refers to a group of chemical irritants that can be used to control or disperse crowds. Janice Chambers, The Conversation, "What is tear gas?," 4 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun According to a 2017 paper on BCAAs and muscle protein synthesis, leucine triggers the necessary chemical reactions needed to fuse together muscle fibers, perhaps making this process more efficient. Amy Schellenbaum, Popular Science, "BCAA supplements can enhance your workout, but should you take them?," 8 Sep. 2020 In 1978, German biophysicist Klaus Schulten suggested a third possibility after studying a class of obscure chemical reactions influenced by quantum effects. Jo Marchant, Wired, "The Oysters That Knew What Time It Was," 1 Sep. 2020 Through a series of chemical reactions, the long-chain carbon compounds found in crude oil can be turned into chemicals capable of removing oil stains from your clothes. Akshat Rathi, Bloomberg.com, "Unilever Will Spend $1 Billion to Rid Cleaning Products of Fossil Fuels by 2030," 1 Sep. 2020 Police moved in on a large group of protesters in the District late Sunday, deploying a chemical irritant in the crowd and tackling some demonstrators as officers moved quickly to clear Black Lives Matter Plaza. Clarence Williams, Washington Post, "D.C. police, protesters clash again near Black Lives Matter Plaza," 31 Aug. 2020 For example, one custom blend contained 10 percent polyalphaolefins (PAO), which is the most common type of chemical used as the primary ingredient in a full synthetic oil. Paul Weissler, Popular Mechanics, "How to Pick the Right Motor Oil for Your Car," 31 Aug. 2020 One pointed a weapon toward his face, and another fired a chemical irritant at him. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "ACLU files lawsuit for Portland protesters, military veterans against Trump administration," 26 Aug. 2020 The standard thinking goes that somehow the conditions were ideal for just the right minerals to come together in a series of chemical reactions that yielded self-replicating molecules, that is, early life. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, "Did life on Earth come from space? Chummy microbes offer clues.," 26 Aug. 2020 Nitty’s livestream captured shoving between the crowd and a group of officers standing in front of a fire engine until police used some kind of chemical irritant. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here's what we know about the chaos that unfolded Tuesday near a Washington Park home," 25 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for chemical

Time Traveler

The first known use of chemical was in 1576

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Statistics for chemical

Last Updated

14 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chemical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chemical. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on chemical

Nglish: Translation of chemical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chemical for Arabic Speakers

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