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

The lawsuits say some of plaintiffs were beaten and pepper sprayed. Fox News, "Lawsuits filed over St. Louis police 'kettling' practice," 18 Sep. 2018 Border Patrol agents launched pepper spray balls in addition to tear gas in what officials said were on-the-spot decisions made by agents. Colleen Long, The Seattle Times, "Trump backs use of ‘very safe’ tear gas on crowd of migrants," 27 Nov. 2018 Even so, the previous time Boca and River met in this tournament in 2015, the match had to be abandoned at half-time because Boca supporters somehow managed to pepper spray River players in the tunnel. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "South America’s Soccer Final Postponed After Attack on Boca Juniors Team," 24 Nov. 2018 One vendor insisted that instead of carrying guns, teachers should carry a flashlight that shoots pepper spray bullets. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "I went to a huge conference on school safety. No one wanted to talk about gun control.," 30 July 2018 My friend will not write a poetic manifesto about the pepper spray, or the Hayward man shot in the knees by a BART officer. David Roderick, San Francisco Chronicle, "State Lines: Sylvia Chan’s ‘Or Else’," 25 Apr. 2018 Corrections officers are not armed with guns but do carry radios and pepper spray, according to the Pioneer Press. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Officers killed in the line of duty in 2018," 19 Sep. 2018 Police used flash-bang grenades and pepper spray to disperse the crowds. Washington Post, "National Digest: Seattle bans drinking straws, the first major U.S. to do so," 2 July 2018 Officers used stun guns and pepper spray in an effort to subdue Ford before firing a shot, striking him in the abdomen. Alexis Stevens, ajc, "3 shootings within 3 hours on downtown Atlanta’s Forsyth Street," 29 June 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

21 Mar 2019

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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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pepper spray

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the range of authority or knowledge

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