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 chemical (audio) \ adverb

Examples of chemical in a Sentence

Adjective They studied the compound's chemical structure.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In response, the Brooklyn Center City Council quickly banned chemical weapons and Mayor Mike Elliott publicly criticized their use. Susan Du, Star Tribune, "Operation Safety Net's crowd-control chemical weapons pose a mystery for medical researchers," 2 May 2021 Letters asking for an end to chemical weapons use have been sent to heads of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security by the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. oregonlive, "New study shows almost all people who responded to survey reported harmful effects of tear gas at Portland protests," 28 Apr. 2021 Emergent also has contracts worth up to $195 million with the State Department and the Defense Department to supply injectors containing treatments for exposure to chemical weapons. Jon Swaine, Anchorage Daily News, "CEO of vaccine maker sold $10 million in stock before company ruined Johnson & Johnson doses," 26 Apr. 2021 That mechanism accused Syria of chemical weapons attacks, including unleashing sarin in an aerial attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017 that killed about 100 people. NBC News, "Syria loses chemical weapons watchdog voting rights over chemical attacks," 21 Apr. 2021 Following the ratification of the Geneva Protocol in 1925, the U.S. military was left with a stockpile of chemical weapons but no place to use them. Jennifer L. Brown, Scientific American, "Why Are Police Using a World War I–Era Chemical Weapon on Civilians?," 20 Apr. 2021 Her house is not far from Westmoreland Circle, which is not far from Spring Valley, the District neighborhood that was once home to a U.S. Army base that tested chemical weapons around World War I. Washington Post, "A replica of the world’s first atom bomb sits on a shelf in a Maryland thrift shop," 6 Apr. 2021 Farms are battlefields, pitting growers against rapacious pests and aggressive weeds in never-ending, costly campaigns that often involve chemical weapons. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Birds versus bees: These species are losing out in the great pesticide trade-off," 1 Apr. 2021 The Assad dictatorship in Syria had used chemical weapons against the population, and the United States was debating whether to intervene. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Questions of judgment, &c.," 25 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Both men represent states that are home to chemical companies that produce the alternative refrigerants. Matthew Daly, chicagotribune.com, "EPA rule to cut down use of greenhouse gases commonly used in air conditioners, refrigerators," 3 May 2021 Several chemical companies and refrigerant producers agreed. Lisa Friedman, New York Times, "E.P.A. to Sharply Limit Powerful Greenhouse Gases," 3 May 2021 Both men represent states that are home to chemical companies that produce the alternative refrigerants. Matthew Daly, ajc, "EPA rule to phase out gases used in refrigerators, coolants," 3 May 2021 Now, by performing additional analyses on the hot spring samples, the same research team has found signs of chemical reactions that could only be facilitated by living things. Raleigh Mcelvery, Science | AAAS, "Microbes are siphoning massive amounts of carbon from Earth’s tectonic plates," 22 Apr. 2021 Their production is emissions intensive due to the high heat temperatures needed and chemical reactions involved, and the only option for canceling out those emissions is diverting and burying the carbon dioxide. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, "Clock’s running out on climate change. California says it’s time for giant carbon vacuums," 19 Apr. 2021 The expansion—driven largely by American consumers venturing out in public again armed with government stimulus money—was broad based, with demand rising from every major industry, from restaurants to chemical companies. Josh Mitchell, WSJ, "Even Suez Canal Blockage Can’t Hold Back Red-Hot Global Trade," 1 Apr. 2021 There are approximately 160,000 chemical companies in China. Donald J. Mihalek, ABC News, "The seen and unseen threat of fentanyl: OPINION," 28 Mar. 2021 Today, theoretical research and modeling chemical reactions to understand experimental results is commonplace, as the theoretical discipline became more sophisticated and bench chemists gradually began to incorporate these models into their work. Jeannette Garcia, Scientific American, "How Quantum Computing Could Remake Chemistry," 15 Mar. 2021

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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chemical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chemical. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 chemical (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

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

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

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!