phos·​gene | \ ˈfäz-ˌjēn \

Definition of phosgene

: a colorless gas COCl2 of unpleasant odor that is a severe respiratory irritant that has been used in chemical warfare

Examples of phosgene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The sounds were deafening — the thunderous detonations of exploding munitions, the loud staccato bursts of machine gun fire, the shriek of whistles as German chlorine and phosgene gas were unleashed, and the screams of the wounded. Special To The Oregonian,, "Memorial Day 2018: Remembering two peace-loving Oregon boys who died in France," 28 May 2018 Mustard gas crawling over the trenches caused debilitating injuries, while soldiers exposed to chlorine and phosgene gases suffocated in a most gruesome manner. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "How peach pits helped us win The Great War," 20 Apr. 2018 It is widely reported to possess a large arsenal of chemical weapons, including mustard, phosgene and sarin gas, a United States Congressional Research Service report said last year. Richard C. Paddock And Choe Sang-hun, New York Times, "Kim Jong-nam Was Killed by VX Nerve Agent, Malaysians Say," 23 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phosgene.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of phosgene

1812, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phosgene

Greek phōs light + -genēs born, produced — more at fancy, -gen; from its originally having been obtained by the action of sunlight

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about phosgene

Dictionary Entries near phosgene








Statistics for phosgene

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for phosgene

The first known use of phosgene was in 1812

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for phosgene


phos·​gene | \ ˈfäz-ˌjēn \

Medical Definition of phosgene

: a colorless gas COCl2 of unpleasant odor that is a severe respiratory irritant and has been used in chemical warfare

More from Merriam-Webster on phosgene Encyclopedia article about phosgene

Comments on phosgene

What made you want to look up phosgene? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


irregularly rounded

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!