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chemical Syllabification: chem·i·cal
Pronunciation: /ˈkemək(ə)l/
(abbreviation: chemical)

Definition of chemical in English:


1Of or relating to chemistry or the interactions of substances as studied in chemistry: the chemical composition of the atmosphere
More example sentences
  • The third atom can detach from the ozone molecule and reattach to molecules of other substances, changing their chemical composition.
  • In its simplest terms, a chemical standard is a substance for which the exact composition is known.
  • Elements are materials that cannot be reduced to simpler substances by normal chemical means.
1.1Of or relating to chemicals: chemical treatments for killing fungi
More example sentences
  • Just as the sweet smells of fall fill the air, the residents of the housing complex where I live are notified again - for the fourth time this year - of a chemical lawn treatment.
  • Councillors have been told that fitting water filtering and chemical treatment would cost £223,000 plus annual running costs of £45,220.
  • The hormone treatment is straightforward chemical castration - I am now impotent but it's an advantageous trade-off against a possibly fatal alternative.
1.2Relating to, involving, or denoting the use of poison gas or other chemicals as weapons of war: the manufacture of chemical weapons
More example sentences
  • The war that followed saw them employing chemical weapons and both sides firing ballistic missiles at major cities.
  • Aside from the nuclear variety of WMD, biological and chemical weapons pose serious dangers.
  • In previous wars it took large artillery bombardments to make chemical weapons effective.


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A compound or substance that has been purified or prepared, especially artificially: never mix disinfectant with other chemicals controversy arose over treatment of apples with this chemical
More example sentences
  • There is often more than one synthetic route for preparing a desired chemical.
  • Also, the chemical plant was processing ammonium nitrate, a stable chemical that requires a substantial infusion of energy to explode.
  • It stores and processes hundreds of tonnes of toxic and highly inflammable chemicals and compounds.


Late 16th century: from French chimique or modern Latin chimicus, chymicus, from medieval Latin alchymicus, from alchimia (see alchemy).

Words that rhyme with chemical

academical, agrochemical, alchemical, biochemical, petrochemical, photochemical, polemical
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