tear·​gas | \ ˈtir-ˌgas How to pronounce teargas (audio) \
teargassed; teargassing; teargases

Definition of teargas

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to use tear gas on

tear gas


Definition of tear gas (Entry 2 of 2)

: a solid, liquid, or gaseous substance that on dispersion in the atmosphere irritates mucous membranes resulting especially in blinding of the eyes with tears and is used chiefly in dispelling mobs

Examples of teargas in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The protest movement -- that on Sunday passed its 10th straight weekend of demonstrations -- has seen protesters and police clash numerous times, with police firing multiple rounds of tear gas. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Hong Kong protesters spark airport chaos as flights canceled for second day," 13 Aug. 2019 Police ruptured one woman’s eye with a bean bag projectile, dressed up as protesters to conduct arrests, and fired large amounts of tear gas at close range, including inside a subway station. Los Angeles Times, "Chaos at Hong Kong airport as protests turn violent, disrupting flights for second day," 13 Aug. 2019 On Sunday night, in addition to using tear gas in a train station, the police beat protesters and chased some down an escalator at another station. Ezra Cheung, New York Times, "Chaos Grips Hong Kong’s Airport as Police Clash With Protesters," 12 Aug. 2019 Officers disguised themselves as protesters to arrest suspects, launched tear gas inside a subway station and fired on protesters at close range with less-than-lethal ammunition. Anchorage Daily News, "Protesters shut down Hong Kong airport; China warns of ‘terrorism,’ raising fears of military crackdown," 12 Aug. 2019 Demonstrators used fire extinguishers and a water hose against riot police who fired tear gas into the train station in Kwai Fong and some accused plainclothes officers of disguising as protesters to make arrests. Elizabeth Lawrence, USA TODAY, "Hong Kong's airport canceled all flights on Monday as protests raged. Here's why.," 12 Aug. 2019 In comparison, during the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests, police fired 87 rounds of tear gas during the two-month-long occupation of three districts. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "1,000 canisters of tear gas and 160 rubber bullets: Hong Kong’s summer of dissent, by the numbers," 5 Aug. 2019 When fireworks went off behind the police barricade, officers decided to go on the offensive, firing tear gas and pushing the crowd to disperse them. CBS News, "Puerto Rico demonstrations turn violent as journalists allege multi-billion dollar corruption," 18 July 2019 Marchers screamed as the troopers advanced, firing tear gas and wielding bullwhips and tubing wrapped in sharp barbed wire. al.com, "Who killed James Reeb? NPR ‘White Lies’ podcast shines light on 1965 Selma murder," 19 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'teargas.' 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 teargas


1946, in the meaning defined above


1916, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for teargas

The first known use of teargas was in 1916

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More Definitions for teargas

tear gas


English Language Learners Definition of tear gas

: a gas that makes people unable to see by causing their eyes to be filled with tears and that is used especially by the police or military to separate large groups of people

tear gas


Medical Definition of tear gas

: a solid, liquid, or gaseous substance that on dispersion in the atmosphere irritates mucous membranes resulting especially in blinding of the eyes with tears

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with teargas

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