Definition of acephate
: an organophosphate insecticide C4H10NO3PS that is used to control insects (such as aphids and thrips) on cultivated crops and ornamental plants Orthene, the brand name for acephate, is both a contact spray and a systemic organophosphate that acts as a nerve poison. — Anne Raver, New York Times, 2 Apr. 1992 ◆Acephate is typically available as a powder, dust, or spray or as granules. Like other organophosphate insecticides, acephate functions by inhibiting the action of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase.
Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:
- 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Origin and Etymology of acephate
probably from acetyl + phosphoramidothioate, parts of its earlier systematic name
First Known Use: 1972
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up acephate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).