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

These dual-sided pads provide both chemical and physical exfoliation through lactic acid, and will help me get baby soft skin. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "Ulta Is Having a 50 Percent Off Sale on Skin-Care—Here’s Everything I Want," 18 Jan. 2019 Professor Dowling starts off with the basics by outlining the structure and organization of the brain, the cells that compose it, and how chemical and electrical signals are transmitted through those cells. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Understanding the Brain is a catalog of all we don’t know about the brain," 10 Nov. 2018 The electrical and chemical ripples can stimulate neurons throughout the brain, according to this theory. Tony Dajer, Discover Magazine, "Vertigo, Panic and Trouble Breathing: What's Going On Here?," 19 Oct. 2018 The faculty has a policy on both chemical and physical restraints. San Diego Elder Law Center, sandiegouniontribune.com, "CHECKLIST: When it's time for memory care," 24 Apr. 2018 Some 500 chemical plants, 10 refineries and more than 6,670 miles of intertwined oil, gas and chemical pipelines line the nation’s largest energy corridor. Time, "'Nothing Short of Catastrophic.' Hurricane Harvey's Toxic Impact Worse Than Publicly Reported, Records Show," 22 Mar. 2018 Cassini showed that this ocean contains hydrothermal sites which could provide chemical energy, and that there are organic molecules in it. The Economist, "Saturn’s rings and several of its moons may be recent creations," 22 Mar. 2018 Some 500 chemical plants, 10 refineries, and more than 6,670 miles of intertwined oil, gas, and chemical pipelines line the corridor. Frank Bajak And Lise Olsen, The Christian Science Monitor, "After Harvey, unpublicized chemical spills come to light," 22 Mar. 2018 Some 500 chemical plants, 10 refineries and more than 6,670 miles of intertwined oil, gas and chemical pipelines line the nation's largest energy corridor. OrlandoSentinel.com, "Hurricane Harvey's toxic impact deeper than public told," 22 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Prostaglandins are hormone-like chemicals that prompt your uterus—which is a muscle, FYI—to contract in order to expel that unnecessary lining. Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, SELF, "14 Benefits of Female Masturbation and Why Every Woman Should Do It," 31 Dec. 2018 Unsurprisingly, the people who didn’t smoke and didn’t vape showed the lowest levels of these toxic chemicals in their pee. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Is vaping better than smoking? Scientists studied pee to find out," 14 Dec. 2018 And her hairstylist Johnny Wright actually revealed back in 2015 that she's been completely natural for years now—meaning there were no chemicals like relaxers or texturizers used to straighten her hair. Teryn Payne, Glamour, "Michelle Obama Wore Her Natural Curls on the Cover of Essence," 15 Nov. 2018 But inspectors did find a slick surface layer that might be inherent, or could be a spilled chemical, or even some local product like apple wax, White said. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Slippery I-90 lane closed for emergency fix in Cle Elum," 9 Oct. 2018 Anhydrous ammonia was the specific chemical that leaked Tuesday. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "Winton Hills, St. Bernard were put under shelter-in-place order after ammonia leak Tuesday," 12 June 2018 These are synthetic chemicals used in everything from stain-resistant fabrics to nonstick pans. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The EPA’s increasing hostility toward the press, explained," 25 May 2018 In Warminster, Warrington, and Horsham, the towns changed public water systems to ensure there were no chemicals in their drinking water. Laura Mccrystal, Philly.com, "Report: EPA, White House wanted to block report on military water contamination," 15 May 2018 While fast-fashion can be fun and addictive, much of it is also responsible for a not insignificant amount of environmental degradation, from the ways it’s produced to the chemicals used in dyeing and processing it. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "6 Ways You Can Be More Eco-Friendly Right This Second," 15 Jan. 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

9 Mar 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

Comments on chemical

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