mustard gas


: an irritant vesicant oily liquid C4H8Cl2S used especially as a chemical weapon

Examples of mustard gas in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The chemist Frances Micklethwait studied chemical weapons during the war and was among the first to analyze mustard gas, closely observing the effects of the pernicious gas on her own skin. Elaine Weiss, Foreign Affairs, 12 Feb. 2019 Given Germany’s success at developing mustard gas in the first World War and their subsequent discoveries of deadly nerve agents in the 1930s, British intelligence feared that Germany was more than capable of developing biological weapons to be used in future conflicts. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 1 Apr. 2017 Among the 40 ships that were damaged, destroyed or sunk was the U.S. Liberty ship John Harvey, which carried a secret cargo of 2,000 mustard gas bombs. Andrea Gawrylewski, Scientific American, 1 Oct. 2020 In a conversation with the Verge reporters, Bard refused to disclose how to make mustard gas at home. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Mar. 2023 With the ship's destruction, mustard gas leaked into the harbor and dispersed into the clouds of smoke and flame from the bombing. Andrea Gawrylewski, Scientific American, 1 Oct. 2020 The burn pit saga goes back decades to at least Operation Desert Storm, and veterans affected by burn pit smoke have fought to be recognized, the way veterans affected by Agent Orange and even mustard gas fought for official recognition of their illnesses. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 17 Sep. 2020 Was there mustard gas in Bari Harbor? Jennet Conant, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Aug. 2020 Triethanolamine, which is used to treat ear infections and impacted earwax, and is an ingredient to thicken face creams and balance the pH of shaving foams, is listed as well because it can also be used to manufacture hydrazoic acid, otherwise known as mustard gas. Amy Webb, The Atlantic, 14 Feb. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mustard gas.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1917, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mustard gas was in 1917

Dictionary Entries Near mustard gas

Cite this Entry

“Mustard gas.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

mustard gas

: a poisonous gas used in war that has strongly irritating and especially blistering effects

Medical Definition

mustard gas

: an irritant oily liquid C4H8Cl2S used especially as a chemical weapon that causes blistering, attacks the eyes and lungs, and is a systemic poison

called also dichlorethyl sulfide, sulfur mustard

More from Merriam-Webster on mustard gas

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