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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.
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 carcinogens
  • Most of those victims are smokers, who inhale cancer-causing substances called carcinogens with every puff.
  • They can be low in toxins, including carcinogens and reproductive toxins, as proven by product testing.
  • On the extreme scale, some products contain toxins that are designated carcinogens.
  • But unlike cigarettes, these devices contain virtually no cancer-causing carcinogens, according to their distributors.
  • Bracken fern does indeed contains carcinogens, that much is clear.
  • New cells replace destroyed cells, but the new cells do not produce enough acid to protect against carcinogens.
  • But when people eat a lot of fiber, their stool is bulkier and so carcinogens would be diluted.
  • The really harmful substances are the burnt carcinogens in tobacco, not the nicotine.
  • Businesses at the time didn't cut the tops off mountains and let the carcinogens run down stream.
  • Fear of a scratch from playing dodge ball and fear of carcinogens.
British Dictionary definitions for carcinogens


/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 carcinogens



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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carcinogens 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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carcinogens 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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