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

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A day earlier, police found a bottle believed to be the source of the nerve agent that killed Dawn Sturgess and sickened Charlie Rowley in Amesbury. BostonGlobe.com, "6 dead after attackers target presidential palace," 14 July 2018 British detectives investigating the poisoning of two people by the nerve agent Novichok in southwestern England said Friday that a small bottle found in the home of one of the victims tested positive for the deadly substance. Gregory Katz, chicagotribune.com, "Bottle containing nerve agent found in home of poisoned man in U.K., police say," 13 July 2018 British detectives investigating the poisoning of two people by the nerve agent Novichok in southwestern England said Friday that a small bottle found in the home of one of the victims tested positive for the deadly substance. Fox News, "UK police confirm source of Novichok poisoning," 13 July 2018 Fans from around the world have poured into the country despite political tensions—though the poisoning of two more people with the nerve agent Novichok in Britain cast a pall over the next round (see Britain section). The Economist, "Russia shows another side at the World Cup," 5 July 2018 However, police say government scientists have identified the nerve agent. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Former Missouri City cop on death row denied federal appeal," 2 May 2018 Since last year's strike, multiple chemical attacks have been reported in opposition areas, most of them involving chlorine rather than the nerve agent sarin, as was used in 2017, suggesting the government may have adjusted its tactics. Author: Carol Morello, Anne Gearan, Missy Ryan, Anchorage Daily News, "After Syria attack, US and Russia tensions rise, but military confrontation fears ease," 14 Apr. 2018 The images recalled two earlier chemical weapons attacks on civilians in Syria, both of which involved the nerve agent sarin. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Dozens reportedly killed in apparent chemical attack in Syria," 8 Apr. 2018 Tests confirmed that the couple were exposed to the same nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Nerve Agent That Poisoned Four People in the U.K. Could Remain Active for 50 Years, Police Say," 11 July 2018

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

18 Oct 2018

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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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