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[ves-i-kuh nt] /ˈvɛs ɪ kənt/
producing a blister or blisters, as a medicinal substance; vesicating.
a vesicant agent or substance.
(in chemical warfare) a chemical agent that causes burns and destruction of tissue both internally and externally.
Origin of vesicant
1655-65; < New Latin vēsīcant- (stem of vēsīcāns), present participle of vēsīcāre to vesicate; see -ant Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for vesicant
Historical Examples
  • The vesicant matter consists of little micaceous lamin soluble in boiling alcohol and oil, but insoluble in water.

  • Externally, vesicant; used in form of ointment, or tincture.

    Cattle and Their Diseases Robert Jennings
  • It is used externally as an irritant or vesicant to the skin.

    Poisons: Their Effects and Detection Alexander Wynter Blyth
  • Its vesicant properties are due to the presence of cantharidin.

  • Line-firing, instead of the vesicant is made use of by some, but the object desired is the same and results obtained are similar.

    Lameness of the Horse John Victor Lacroix
  • It has also been used as a masticatory in toothache, paralysis of the tongue, &c. On the Continent it is used as a vesicant.

  • Following the acute stage of such an infection, any local counter-irritating application or even a vesicant is in order.

    Lameness of the Horse John Victor Lacroix
  • In these cases, subjects may be put into service after all swelling which the injection or the vesicant has produced has subsided.

    Lameness of the Horse John Victor Lacroix
  • Following this, a vesicant is employed and the subject is allowed a month's rest.

    Lameness of the Horse John Victor Lacroix
  • Reduction having been affected, the application of a vesicant over the whole patellar region is customary.

    Lameness of the Horse John Victor Lacroix
British Dictionary definitions for vesicant


noun (pl) -cants, -catories
any substance that causes blisters, used in medicine and in chemical warfare
acting as a vesicant
Word Origin
C19: see vesica
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 vesicant

1660s, from Medieval Latin vesicantem (nominative vesicans), present participle of vesicare, from vesica "a bladder, a blister" (see ventral). From 1826 as an adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vesicant in Medicine

vesicant ves·i·cant (věs'ĭ-kənt)
A blistering agent, especially mustard gas, used in chemical warfare. adj.
Causing blisters.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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