noun, often attributive
haz·​mat | \ ˈhaz-ˌmat How to pronounce hazmat (audio) \

Definition of hazmat

: a material (such as flammable or poisonous material) that would be a danger to life or to the environment if released without precautions

Did you know?

The origin of "hazmat" is clear enough - it was formed by combining the first three letters of each of two words: "hazardous" and "material." The word hazmat is fairly young, first appearing in print in 1980. Although it is a noun, "hazmat" tends to be used attributively, meaning that it often appears in sentences before another noun as if it were performing the duties of an adjective (as in "hazmat team" and "hazmat worker").

Examples of hazmat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The bomb squad and a hazmat team were also called to the scene. Christian Martinez Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 19 Mar. 2022 Reached by phone, Goia said no shelter in place has been ordered thus far and a county hazmat team is on site withair monitors to determine if that will be needed. Anna Kramer, SFChronicle.com, 14 Aug. 2020 Others fled the city’s lockdown on foot, wearing full hazmat suits and carrying possessions stuffed into plastic bags. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 June 2022 On the day ABC News visited, Alice's batteries had just arrived and engineers in hazmat-like suits were working to fit the behemoth batteries onto the left and right side of the plane. Alex Stone, ABC News, 25 Nov. 2021 Fox News Digital obtained a picture of Gendron in a hazmat suit while sitting in class. Adam Sabes, Fox News, 19 May 2022 Several Susquehanna Valley High School students spoke of Payton Gendron’s behavior leading up to their graduation last year, including how the troubled teen wore a full hazmat suit to class once school resumed in person. New York Times, 15 May 2022 Horror stories circulate online about pets being left behind and one was recently killed with a shovel by a person in a hazmat suit. David Culver, CNN, 11 Apr. 2022 Sanitation workers in hazmat suits pulled Brenda’s items out with pole pickers and tossed them to the ground. Tracy Rosenthal, The New Republic, 19 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of hazmat

1972, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hazmat

hazardous material

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Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hazmat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hazmat. Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for hazmat


noun, often attributive
haz·​mat | \ ˈhaz-ˌmat \

Medical Definition of hazmat

: a material (as radioactive, flammable, explosive, or poisonous material) that would be a danger to life or to the environment if released without necessary precautions being taken toxic waste hauled away by workers in hazmat suits— Tom Spousta hazmat storage


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