phos·​gene | \ ˈfäz-ˌjēn How to pronounce phosgene (audio) \

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 company later said chemicals released to the air included 0.62 pounds of phosgene and 0.1 pound of chlorobenzene. Mark Schleifstein,, "A look at the 25 Rubicon accidental releases over 10 years that potentially exposed 130 workers," 3 Jan. 2021 The LaPorte Chemical Complex is the largest merchant producer of specialty and custom phosgene derivatives in North America, according to the company's website. Hannah Dellinger, Houston Chronicle, "‘Chemical incidents’ reported at La Porte plant," 23 Jan. 2020 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

Time Traveler for phosgene

Time Traveler

The first known use of phosgene was in 1812

See more words from the same year

Statistics for phosgene

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Phosgene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for phosgene


phos·​gene | \ ˈfäz-ˌjēn How to pronounce phosgene (audio) \

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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