from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various agents that on dispersal, usually from grenades or projectiles, irritate the eyes and cause blinding tears.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any lachrymatory non-lethal chemical compound that causes the eyes to sting and water and/or irritates the respiratory system, mostly used for controlling crowds during riots or as self-defense.
  • v. To use tear gas.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a gas that makes the eyes fill with tears but does not damage them; used in dispersing crowds


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • After the first three or four KIAs had piled up in the doorway, the rest of them would regroup in the corridor and start thinking about tear gas and reinforcements and body armor.

    Bad Luck and Trouble

  • The police and special antiriot military units stood by watching, but then they started to provoke the students and exploded tear gas grenades.

    1968 the Year that Rocked the World

  • Suddenly, consumed with anger, the demonstrators attacked the CRS, lining up, some digging up cobblestones, others passing them bucket-brigade style to the front line, where others ran into clouds of tear gas and threw the stones at the CRS.

    1968 the Year that Rocked the World

  • Jack Guez/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images Israeli security forces fired tear gas and weapons.

    Fresh Protests at Israeli Border

  • Protests turned violent at the Qalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and the West Bank town of Ramallah, where some demonstrators threw rocks at Israeli soldiers who fired tear gas and rubber bullets.

    Israeli Troops Fire at Protesters at Golan Heights Border

  • There might have been some tear gas and a few clunked heads, which he could hope to keep off television while the networks were preoccupied by what was certain to be a bitter and emotional fight within the convention.

    1968 the Year that Rocked the World

  • In Detroit, where forty-three people died in race riots in 1967, the police already had five armored vehicles but were stockpiling tear gas and gas masks and were requesting antisniper rifles, carbines, shotguns, and 150,000 rounds of ammunition.

    1968 the Year that Rocked the World


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  • "The Sixties were an era of extreme reality. I miss the smell of tear gas. I miss the fear of getting beaten.�?
    — Hunter S. Thompson in Independent on Sunday, 12 October 1997.

    October 30, 2008