tear·​gas | \ˈtir-ˌgas \
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

Protesters violently pushed back, and officials have responded with tear gas, stun grenades, and water cannons. Alex Ward, Vox, "France’s deadly and growing protests, in 17 pictures," 3 Dec. 2018 And these officers violently attacked demonstrators with their batons and tear gas, intending to intimidate the people from moving forward in their protests. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, "How the Democratic National Convention Has Been Protested Against in the Last 50 Years," 28 Aug. 2018 Police fired tear gas and water cannon before the military crackdown in surrounding streets. Christopher Torchia, Fox News, "Election violence in Zimbabwe didn't faze tennis teens," 6 Aug. 2018 Of those wounded, 92 were hit by live fire while the rest suffered from tear gas inhalation, the news agency said. Abeer Salman And Nadeem Muaddi, CNN, "Israeli forces kill 4 protesters in Gaza, Palestinian ministry says," 8 June 2018 The inmate was in custody on a probation violation as well as charges of possessing a leaded cane and being a felon in possession of tear gas. Alex Riggins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Inmate death at Vista jail under investigation," 11 July 2018 Some clashed with the police, who eventually dispersed the crowd with tear gas. The Economist, "Politics this week," 28 June 2018 Police eventually used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up the crowd. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Los Angeles Police Shut Down The XXXTentacion Memorial In L.A.," 20 June 2018 Tactical officers eventually used tear gas to get Sommerville out of the apartment. Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "Police used tear gas to end standoff after Raytown shooting; man now charged," 3 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of teargas


1946, in the meaning defined above


1916, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about teargas

Dictionary Entries near teargas

tear fault


tear gas


tear grass



Statistics for teargas

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for teargas

The first known use of teargas was in 1916

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 esp. in blinding of the eyes with tears

More from Merriam-Webster on teargas

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with teargas

Comments on teargas

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


a knickknack or trinket

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!