: a chemical spray or dust applied to plants in order to cause the leaves to drop off prematurely
First Known Use of DEFOLIANT
defoliant noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Chemical dust or spray applied to plants to cause their leaves to drop off prematurely. Defoliants sometimes are applied to crop plants such as cotton to facilitate harvesting. They have also been used in warfare to eliminate enemy food crops and potential areas of concealment (as in the Vietnam War). See also Agent Orange.
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