Meaning of CHEMICAL in English


I. chem ‧ i ‧ cal 1 S3 W3 AC /ˈkemɪk ə l/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ chemical , ↑ chemist , ↑ chemistry ; adverb : ↑ chemically ; adjective : ↑ chemical ]

a substance used in chemistry or produced by a chemical process

toxic/hazardous/dangerous chemicals

the organic chemicals industry

synthetic chemicals

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ dangerous/harmful

Many cleaning products contain chemicals that can be harmful.

▪ hazardous (=very dangerous)

There are major problems over the disposal of hazardous chemicals.

▪ toxic/poisonous (=containing poison)

The chemicals that were released were highly toxic.

▪ synthetic chemicals (=made by mixing artificial substances)

A synthetic chemical is, in theory, identical to that found in nature.

▪ organic chemicals (=containing natural substances including carbon)

Oil and coal are known as organic chemicals.

▪ industrial/agricultural chemicals (=used in industry/in farming)

Some deaths from cancer are related to industrial chemicals.

■ verbs

▪ use chemicals

Farmers use chemicals to kill insects that would destroy their crops.

▪ produce chemicals

the dangerous chemicals produced by burning oil

▪ be exposed to chemicals

Some of the troops were exposed to chemicals.

■ chemical + NOUN

▪ the chemical industry

The chemical industry is one of the most important industrial sectors.

▪ a chemical plant (=factory producing chemicals)

There has been an explosion at a chemical plant in Germany.

▪ a chemical fertilizer (=chemicals to help plants grow)

Many crops are grown with chemical fertilizers.

▪ chemical waste

the risks from pollution and chemical waste

▪ chemical weapons (=poisonous chemicals used as weapons)

a global treaty banning chemical weapons

▪ chemical warfare (=the use of chemical weapons in wars)

There is now also the threat of chemical warfare.

II. chemical 2 W3 AC BrE AmE adjective [only before noun]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ chemical , ↑ chemist , ↑ chemistry ; adverb : ↑ chemically ; adjective : ↑ chemical ]

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Modern Latin ; Origin: chimicus 'alchemist' , from Medieval Latin alchimicus , from alchymia ; ⇨ ↑ alchemy ]

relating to substances, the study of substances, or processes involving changes in substances:

the chemical composition of bleach

a chemical analysis of the soil

—chemically /-kli/ adverb :

Chemically, the substances are similar.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.