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Chemical substances used for a specific purpose

agar

noun

a substance in which bacteria and other microorganisms are grown in laboratories

antifreeze

noun

a chemical that you add to the water in a car engine to prevent it from freezing

antioxidant

noun

a substance that prevents oxygen from combining with other substances and damaging them. Antioxidants are used in industry for making substances such as rubber and plastic stronger, and they are often added to processed foods to make them stay fresh for longer.

colourant

noun

a substance used for giving something a different colour or for making its colour stronger

colouring

noun

a substance that you add to change the colour of something

defoliant

noun

a chemical used for making the leaves fall off a tree or plant

dispersant

noun

a chemical substance used to break up a liquid, especially oil floating on the sea, into tiny pieces so that it spreads over a wide area and causes less harm

dry ice

noun

solid carbon dioxide that is used for keeping things cold and for producing white smoke in plays and at concerts

dynamite

noun

a substance used for causing explosions, especially for breaking rock into pieces

ether

noun

a clear liquid that is used as a solvent (=a mixture that changes solid substances into liquids) or for making people unconscious

formalin

noun

a chemical made by mixing formaldehyde with water, used for preserving dead things in a laboratory

gelignite

noun

a substance used to cause explosions, especially under water

gunpowder

noun

a substance that is used for causing explosions or for making fireworks (=objects that burn to produce noise and coloured light)

high explosive

noun

a substance that produces a quick and powerful explosion and is often used in bombs

indicator

noun

a chemical compound that changes colour in particular conditions. It can be used to test chemical substances, for example in order to discover how acid or alkaline something is.

limewater

noun

a clear liquid consisting of calcium hydroxide and water. It is used to test for carbon dioxide as it stops being clear when carbon dioxide is put through it.

litmus

noun

a substance that is used in chemical tests to discover whether a substance is an acid or an alkali

nitrate

noun

a chemical substance containing nitrogen, used for improving the quality of soil

nitroglycerine

noun

a chemical used for making bombs and some types of medicine

octane

noun

a chemical in petrol, used for measuring its quality

phenol

noun

a chemical made from coal, used for killing bacteria

phosphate

noun

a chemical that contains phosphorus, used especially for making plants grow

plastic explosive

noun

a soft substance that can explode, or a bomb made from this substance

reagent

noun

a substance used in a chemical reaction

saltpetre

noun

a substance that is used in making matches and fireworks

Semtex

a plastic substance that can be bent into any shape and is used for making bombs

smelling salts

noun

a chemical with a very strong smell, held under the nose of an unconscious person to make them conscious again

solvent

noun

a liquid used for dissolving a solid substance so that it becomes part of the liquid

universal indicator

noun

a chemical solution that changes to different colours depending on how acid or alkaline the substance being tested is

sandwich generation

a generation … who are balancing working life with caring for both their teenage children and elderly parents

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

dish

to gossip or share personal information with someone …

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