polychlorinated biphenyl

noun

poly·​chlo·​ri·​nat·​ed biphenyl ˌpä-lē-ˈklȯr-ə-ˌnā-təd- How to pronounce polychlorinated biphenyl (audio)
: any of several compounds that are produced by replacing hydrogen atoms in biphenyl with chlorine, have various industrial applications, and are toxic environmental pollutants which tend to accumulate in animal tissues

called also PCB

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This is due to mercury and polychlorinated biphenyl pollution. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 17 Feb. 2023 In 2018, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that EPA scientists tested dozens of sites along the river bottom and found that polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) levels remain dangerously high. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, 19 June 2019 Separately, a March 2019 study found exposure to phthalates and polychlorinated biphenyl — again, two ingredients found in plastics — damaged the quality of sperm exposed to the chemicals. Julia Belluz, Vox, 30 May 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'polychlorinated biphenyl.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

poly- + chlorinated, past participle of chlorinate

First Known Use

1959, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polychlorinated biphenyl was in 1959

Dictionary Entries Near polychlorinated biphenyl

Cite this Entry

“Polychlorinated biphenyl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polychlorinated%20biphenyl. Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Medical Definition

polychlorinated biphenyl

noun
poly·​chlo·​ri·​nat·​ed biphenyl ˌpäl-i-ˈklōr-ə-ˌnāt-əd-, -ˈklȯr- How to pronounce polychlorinated biphenyl (audio)
: any of several compounds that are produced by replacing hydrogen atoms in biphenyl with chlorine, have various industrial applications, and are toxic environmental pollutants which tend to accumulate in animal tissues

called also PCB

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