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pepper spray

noun
1.
an aerosol spray that temporarily irritates the eyes and mucous membranes, used to stun and incapacitate a person or animal:
police use of pepper spray to control rioters.
Origin of pepper spray
1985-1990
1985-90; the active ingredient is capsaicin, extracted from capsicum peppers
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for pepper-spray
Historical Examples
  • It was a little stainless-steel aerosol canister that looked for all the world like a pepper-spray self-defense unit.

    Little Brother Cory Doctorow
  • The cops were running for them, batons out, pepper-spray out.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
  • He turned it and let the door crash open as two cops in riot-visors came through, pepper-spray at the fore.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
British Dictionary definitions for pepper-spray

pepper spray

noun
1.
a defence spray agent derived from hot cayenne peppers, which causes temporary blindness and breathing difficulty, sometimes used to control riots
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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Contemporary definitions for pepper-spray
noun

a liquid of oleoresins from capsicum put in aerosol form to be used for self-defense against an attacker

Examples

Pepper spray is highly irritant to the skin and mucous membranes.

Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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12
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