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[ak-sel-er-uh nt] /ækˈsɛl ər ənt/
something that speeds up a process.
Chemistry, accelerator (def 5).
a substance that accelerates the spread of fire or makes a fire more intense:
Arson was suspected when police found accelerants at the scene of the fire.
Origin of accelerant
1915-20; < Latin accelerant- (stem of accelerāns) hastening (present participle of accelerāre). See accelerate Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for accelerant
  • Of course, demand is a key component to driving value, but the defective nature of the appraisal process served as an accelerant.
  • But the scheme is more likely to be an ironic accelerant of it.
  • Gun-cotton is used as an accelerant in almost every firearm, including cannons.
  • Cloud seeding sounds fundamentally dangerous as a potential accelerant to climate change.
  • It is an insult to reason, a false distraction, and an accelerant for confusion.
  • One factor that may be significant in determining if a fire was intentionally set is the presence of an accelerant.
  • When a dog properly identifies an explosive or accelerant odor and sits, it is rewarded with food.
  • These canines are used to detect either narcotic, explosives or accelerant substances.
  • It was evident that a petroleum-based accelerant had been used to contribute to the fires progress.
  • They found that someone again used an accelerant to start the fire.
British Dictionary definitions for accelerant


(chem) another name for accelerator (sense 3)
Word Origin
C20: from Latin from accelerāns, present participle of accelerāre to go faster
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
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Word Origin and History for accelerant

1854, from Latin accelerantem (nominative accelerans), present participle of accelerare (see accelerate). As an adjective from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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accelerant in Medicine

accelerant ac·cel·er·ant (āk-sěl'ər-ənt)

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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accelerant in Science
A substance, such as a petroleum distillate, that is used as a catalyst, as in spreading an intentionally set fire.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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