Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


A blistering agent, especially mustard gas, used in chemical warfare.
Causing blisters.


(ˈvɛsɪkənt) or


n, pl -cants or -catories
(Elements & Compounds) any substance that causes blisters, used in medicine and in chemical warfare
(Chemistry) acting as a vesicant
[C19: see vesica]


(ˈvɛs ɪ kənt)

1. producing a blister or blisters, as a medicinal substance.
2. a chemical agent that causes burns and destruction of tissue.
[1655–65; < New Latin vēsīcant-, s. of vēsīcāns, present participle of vēsīcāre to raise blisters, derivative of Latin vēsīca bladder, blister]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.vesicant - a chemical agent that causes blistering (especially mustard gas)
chemical agent - an agent that produces chemical reactions
blistering agent, dichloroethyl sulfide, mustard agent, mustard gas, sulfur mustard - a toxic war gas with sulfide based compounds that raises blisters and attacks the eyes and lungs; there is no known antidote
Adj.1.vesicant - causing blisters
noxious - injurious to physical or mental health; "noxious chemical wastes"; "noxious ideas"
References in periodicals archive ?
Ironically, he said vesicant, a chemical agent that causes burns and destruction of skin tissue, became one of his favourite words later.
This rove beetle neither bites or stings, but accidental brushing against or crushing the beetle on the skin on contact provokes the release of its fluid, which contains paederin, a potent vesicant.
75-ounce tubes, the M5 vesicant agent protective ointment was part of Army medical kits until 1969.
Folklore: The latex of this plant possesses vesicant, wormicidal and purgative properties.
6(pp204-212)) In addition to being a vesicant, sulfur mustard is also an alkylating agent.
Until recently, intralesional and systemic corticosteroids, which were the mainstay of treatment in cancer chemotherapy, has been proven efficacious for life-threatening hemangioma but also has limited use due to the strong vesicant qualities of the drug, with need for central line access for chronic administration as well as potential peripheral mixed sensory-motor neurotoxicity.
It is a potent vesicant, which is a substance that can cause tissue blistering or necrosis with extra-vasation.
Vesicant gases are strong alkylating agents, and they have cytostatic, mutagenic, and cytotoxic effects.
Chemical warfare agents (CWA) such as sulfur mustard (SM), a vesicant agent, were extensively used against the Iranian troops and civilians during 1983-1988.
Vesicant extravasation part II: evidence-based management and continuing controversies.
Up to 41 distinct chemical species in 5 different categories (ie, sternutating [respiratory irritant], lacrimatory [tearing], pulmonary [choking], vesicant [blister], and systemic [blood] agents) were used on battlefields between 1914 and 1918, although most of the damage was limited to chlorine, phosgene, and sulfur mustard.
Sulfur is a vital ingredient in the manufacture of mustard gas, which has powerful vesicant effects and can cause chemical burns on exposed individuals.