nerve gas


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nerve gas (plural nerve gases)

  1. A toxic chemical compound and banned weapon of mass destruction which, when inhaled or ingested, impairs nervous system functions, typically causing extreme physical distress and death by asphyxiation.
    • 1940 May 14, "Nazi ‘New Weapon’ Draws Skepticism," New York Times, p. 6:
      United States Army chemical warfare experts said they believed it was quite possible that a gas corresponding roughly to the description of “nerve gas” might be produced under special conditions, but they had not heard that it could be successfully used in warfare.
    • 2004 Feb. 27, George Nishiyama, "Japan Cult Guru to Hang for Sarin Nerve Gas Attack," Washington Post (retrieved 2 Oct 2008):
      A former Japanese cult guru was sentenced to hang Friday for masterminding a sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo subway trains in 1995.