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 department issued nine denials, according to Mr. Ross’s response, including applications for cattle prods, pepper spray and voice-print software to Chinese security agencies and other firms. Natasha Khan, WSJ, "U.S. Technology Sent to Chinese Police Was Within Rules, Commerce Department Says," 26 July 2018 In another, a security guard at the McDonald’s hit a doorframe while firing at a customer who had grabbed the guard’s pepper spray and lunged at him., "Almost nothing is known about dozens of concealed carry shootings in Illinois. Why?," 15 June 2018 Police arresting four people and confiscating knives, pepper spray, fireworks from these protesters as violence coming nearly a year after a similar showdown between the two groups that triggered bloody fights and 14 arrests. Fox News, "Kellyanne Conway on Singapore summit, Trump's first 500 days," 10 June 2018 And their son, Scott Davis, knocked the pepper spray away from an officer and assaulted her, police say. Tim Prudente,, "Baltimore County police say family turns on cops called to disturbance in Middle River," 5 June 2018 The personal-defense pepper spray some people carry in their cars or purses will not work on a bear, Servheen says. Markham Heid, Time, "Going Hiking? This Is What You’ll Need to Protect Yourself Against Bears," 9 May 2018 The school corporation says an individual, believed to be a student, released the pepper spray into the air. Indianapolis Star, "Warren Township school evacuated after pepper spray released; no injuries reported," 18 Apr. 2018 So, practice using firearms, pepper spray, or other weapons. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Protecting your property – and yourself – in Southcentral Alaska: Troopers and police share their tips," 1 July 2018 Bacon, subdued by other responding officers and pepper spray, was detained and taken to a hospital, where he was treated until his release, Lewis said. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Suspect in Phoenix police shooting released from hospital, faces charges," 23 May 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

28 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for pepper spray

The first known use of pepper spray was in 1979

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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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to enclose within walls

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