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[kahr-sin-uh-juh n, -jen, kahr-suh-nuh-jen, -noh-] /kɑrˈsɪn ə dʒən, -ˌdʒɛn, ˈkɑr sə nəˌdʒɛn, -noʊ-/
noun, Pathology
any substance or agent that tends to produce a cancer.
Origin of carcinogen
1935-40; carcino- + -gen
Related forms
[kahr-suh-nuh-jen-ik, -noh-] /ˌkɑr sə nəˈdʒɛn ɪk, -noʊ-/ (Show IPA),
[kahr-suh-noh-juh-nis-i-tee] /ˌkɑr sə noʊ dʒəˈnɪs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
anticarcinogen, noun
anticarcinogenic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for carcinogenic
  • The widely used explosive is highly toxic and carcinogenic.
  • They also act as carriers for toxic or carcinogenic materials.
  • Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself.
  • But everything known about both sets of compounds suggests they are carcinogenic.
  • The flavorings, not yet identified, may also prove carcinogenic.
  • After its carcinogenic potential was confirmed it was no longer used.
  • There are a lot of different problems in getting dyes that are not carcinogenic and paper problems.
  • Further it does not appear to be carcinogenic in other parts of the body at these dose ranges.
  • carcinogenic agents induce cancer by causing genetic mutations that allow cells to escape normal biological controls.
  • Oddly, since its radiation kills nearby thyroid tissue, smaller doses are more carcinogenic than larger doses.
British Dictionary definitions for carcinogenic


/kɑːˈsɪnədʒən; ˈkɑːsɪnəˌdʒɛn/
(pathol) any substance that produces cancer
Derived Forms
carcinogenic, adjective
carcinogenicity, noun
Word Origin
C20: from Greek karkinoscancer + -gen
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 carcinogenic

1926, from carcinogen + -ic.



"cancer-causing substance," 1853, from carcinoma + -gen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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carcinogenic in Medicine

carcinogen car·cin·o·gen (kär-sĭn'ə-jən, kär'sə-nə-jěn')
A cancer-causing substance or agent.

car'cin·o·gen'ic (kär'sə-nə-jěn'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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carcinogenic in Science
A substance or agent that can cause cells to become cancerous by altering their genetic structure so that they multiply continuously and become malignant. Asbestos, DDT, and tobacco smoke are examples of carcinogens.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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carcinogenic in Culture
carcinogenic [(kahr-suh-nuh-jen-ik)]

A descriptive term for things capable of causing cancer.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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