verb (used with object), tear-gassed, tear-gas·sing.

to subject to tear gas.

Origin of tear-gas

First recorded in 1945–50

tear gas



a gas that makes the eyes smart and water, thus producing a temporary blindness, used in modern warfare, to quell riots, etc.

Origin of tear gas

First recorded in 1915–20
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for tear-gas


Examples from the Web for tear-gas

Contemporary Examples of tear-gas

Historical Examples of tear-gas

  • Disconcerted by the attack of tear-gas, the green men broke and fled.

    The Heads of Apex

    Francis Flagg

  • Calhoun was familiar enough with tear-gas, used by police on some planets.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • To add to the strangeness of the situation, there was a strong scent of tear-gas in the air, which made my eyes water.

    The Great War As I Saw It

    Frederick George Scott

  • One afternoon on the Somme our battery received a severe strafe from 59's and tear-gas shells.

  • The "tear-gas" shell were marked with a "T" by the Germans and were known as "T-shell."

    Inventions of the Great War

    A. Russell (Alexander Russell) Bond

British Dictionary definitions for tear-gas

tear gas


any one of a number of gases or vapours that make the eyes smart and water, causing temporary blindness; usually dispersed from grenades and used in warfare and to control riotsAlso called: lacrimator
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

tear-gas in Medicine

tear gas



A gas that causes irritation of the eyes and profuse tearing.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.