• synonyms


[ves-i-kuh nt]
  1. producing a blister or blisters, as a medicinal substance; vesicating.
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  1. a vesicant agent or substance.
  2. (in chemical warfare) a chemical agent that causes burns and destruction of tissue both internally and externally.
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Origin of vesicant

1655–65; < New Latin vēsīcant- (stem of vēsīcāns), present participle of vēsīcāre to vesicate; see -ant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vesicant

Historical Examples of vesicant

  • Externally, vesicant; used in form of ointment, or tincture.

    Cattle and Their Diseases

    Robert Jennings

  • It is used externally as an irritant or vesicant to the skin.

  • Its vesicant properties are due to the presence of cantharidin.

  • Following this, a vesicant is employed and the subject is allowed a month's rest.

    Lameness of the Horse

    John Victor Lacroix

  • It has also been used as a masticatory in toothache, paralysis of the tongue, &c. On the Continent it is used as a vesicant.

British Dictionary definitions for vesicant


vesicatory (ˈvɛsɪˌkeɪtərɪ)

noun plural -cants or -catories
  1. any substance that causes blisters, used in medicine and in chemical warfare
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  1. acting as a vesicant
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Word Origin for vesicant

C19: see vesica
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

Word Origin and History for vesicant


1660s, from Medieval Latin vesicantem (nominative vesicans), present participle of vesicare, from vesica "a bladder, a blister" (see ventral). From 1826 as an adjective.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

vesicant in Medicine


  1. A blistering agent, especially mustard gas, used in chemical warfare.
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  1. Causing blisters.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.