nerve agent

noun
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of nerve agent

: a toxic, usually odorless organophosphate (such as sarin, tabun, or VX) that is used as a chemical weapon in gaseous or liquid form, disrupts the transmission of nerve impulses, and may cause breathing difficulties, coughing, vomiting, muscle weakness or paralysis, convulsions, coma, and death : nerve gas

Recent Examples of nerve agent from the Web

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

First Known Use of nerve agent

1953


Medical Dictionary

nerve agent

noun

medical Definition of nerve agent

: a toxic, usually odorless organophosphate (such as sarin, tabun, or VX) that disrupts the transmission of nerve impulses by inhibiting cholinesterase and especially acetylcholinesterase and is used as a chemical weapon in gaseous or liquid form : nerve gas
Note: Nerve agents may be inhaled, absorbed through the skin, or ingested in contaminated food or water. Symptoms of exposure include runny nose, increased salivation, sweating, breathing difficulties, coughing, vomiting, muscle weakness or paralysis, convulsions, coma, and respiratory arrest leading to death.

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