nerve agent

noun

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

Examples of nerve agent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow have increased after the poisoning of a former Russian spy with a nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury in March. Matthew Chance, CNN, "Roman Abramovich granted Israeli citizenship, reports say," 29 May 2018 Britain has accused Russia of exposing Skripal to Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed in the last years of the Soviet Union. Ellen Barry, BostonGlobe.com, "Russia, praised for scrapping chemical weapons, now under watchdog’s gaze," 21 Mar. 2018 The Trump administration announcing new sanctions against Russia over the use of a military-grade nerve agents on U.K. soil. Fox News, "Rep. Ed Royce on US relations with Russia, Turkey and Iran; Rep. Devin Nunes on Bruce Ohr and the push to declassify DOJ documents," 12 Aug. 2018 Laboratory testing showed the substance that poisoned them was Novichok, the British government has said, part of a class of nerve agents developed first in the Soviet Union and later in Russia. New York Times, "Britain Suggests Russia Is Behind Latest Nerve Agent Case," 9 July 2018 Synthesis of nerve agents requires a specialist laboratory, with fume cupboards. Simon Cotton, Scientific American, "Nerve Agents: What Are They and How Do They Work?," 9 Mar. 2018 Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, was poisoned along with his daughter in Salisbury, England, last year with a potent nerve agent administered by two officers from Russia’s military intelligence, Britain said. Neil Macfarquhar, BostonGlobe.com, "Fears of Navalny poisoning are rooted in previous attacks on Kremlin foes," 29 July 2019 Machines in the mail room detected the chemical sarin — a potentially lethal nerve agent — inside the package, prompting officials to evacuate four buildings and call authorities. Alejandra Reyes-velarde, latimes.com, "No sarin found in package sent to Facebook that prompted evacuations, officials say," 2 July 2019 Sarin is an extremely volatile nerve agent because of its ability to evaporate from liquid to gas. Cheri Mossburg, CNN, "Sarin possibly found at a Facebook mailing facility in California, no employees exposed," 1 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of nerve agent

1953, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near nerve agent

nervation

nervature

nerve

nerve agent

nerve cell

nerve center

nerve cord

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

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The first known use of nerve agent was in 1953

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More Definitions for nerve agent

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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