pepper spray


Definition of pepper spray 

: a temporarily disabling aerosol that is composed partly of capsicum oleoresin and causes irritation and blinding of the eyes and inflammation of the nose, throat, and skin

Examples of pepper spray in a Sentence

The police used pepper spray to bring the suspect under control.

Recent Examples on the Web

In response to possible ways of protecting students during an incident of gun violence, one Ohio Valley school district has announced plans to equip their school buildings with a high-tech pepper spray system. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ohio School District to Install Pepper Spray “Threat Extinguisher” System," 13 July 2018 When Ayon refused to stop striking Duran, prison staff released a pepper spray grenade. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Child molester beaten to death in California prison days after he arrived," 12 July 2018 Ayon allegedly began punching Duran in the face and upper torso until correctional officers intervened and used a pepper spray grenade on the 19-year-old. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Child molester beaten to death by 19-year-old inmate in California prison, officials say," 12 July 2018 The yellow umbrellas became a symbol of revolution after protesters used them the previous year to fend off police pepper spray attacks. Olivia P. Tallet, Houston Chronicle, "Houston celebrates the 20th anniversary of an iconic Latino movement," 25 Apr. 2018 If Maness posts bail, he will be held on house arrest, the judge said, and not allowed to possess bear spray or pepper spray. Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, "Man charged in pepper spray attack attempted to recruit others to ‘storm’ Anchorage gay pride parades," 28 Apr. 2018 When no one answered at the girl’s front door on Friday afternoon, the man — who also carried pepper spray and was dressed in all-black — went around to the back of the house to a basement-level door. Jeff Truesdell,, "Va. Mom Shoots Man Who Allegedly Flew from New Zealand to See Her Daughter, 14, Who'd Quit Messaging Him Online," 26 June 2018 Officials said he was arrested with: two .45-caliber handguns, a .454-caliber handgun, and a 12-gauge shotgun, all fully loaded; a combat knife; pepper spray; and throwing stars. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Want to bring a fake gun to Phoenix Comic Fest? Nope.," 26 May 2018 Stun guns can cause shocked inmates to fall and injure themselves, pepper spray could get into the jail's ventilation system, and deputies could also be injured while going into a cell to subdue an inmate, the report said. Everton Bailey Jr.,, "No criminal charges in case of inmate bitten by police dog while in jail, DA says," 13 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pepper spray.' 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 pepper spray

1979, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for pepper spray

The first known use of pepper spray was in 1979

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More Definitions for pepper spray

pepper spray


English Language Learners Definition of pepper spray

: a substance made from a chemical found in peppers that causes temporary blindness and pain to the nose, throat, and skin when it is sprayed on someone

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