her·​bi·​cide | \ ˈ(h)ər-bə-ˌsīd \

Definition of herbicide

: an agent used to destroy or inhibit plant growth

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Other Words from herbicide

herbicidal \ ˌ(h)ər-​bə-​ˈsī-​dᵊl \ adjective
herbicidally \ ˌ(h)ər-​bə-​ˈsī-​dᵊl-​ē \ adverb

Examples of herbicide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

An instance similar to the Tylenol murders also occurred in Japan in 1985, when 10 people were killed and 35 were left seriously ill from a poisonous herbicide that had been inserted into beverages in vending machines. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "Needles in strawberries, cyanide in Tylenol: the long history of product tampering," 21 Sep. 2018 Another, Dicamba, is a herbicide that has been banned in Arkansas and is known to drift into other areas, compromising non-Monsanto crops. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Monsanto's Roundup Is on Trial. The Charge: Causing Cancer," 10 July 2018 And then the amount of herbicides and fungicides that need to be sprayed is far less and more precise, benefiting crop yields and the environment at large. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "An App Could Be the Key to Saving Crops from Pests and Pathogens," 4 Dec. 2018 Apply an herbicide now and the weeds won't return in the spring. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "6 Tips to Get Your Lawn Ready for Fall," 24 Aug. 2018 According to the catalog, Jacobs gets his weed imagery not from close observation of the natural world, but from pest-control and herbicide guides. Thomas Hine, Philly.com, "Brandywine River Museum's new exhibit finds scary beauty in the realm of decay," 5 July 2018 On Friday, a California jury hit Monsanto with $289 million in damages in a lawsuit brought by a patient suffering from terminal cancer, accepting the plaintiff's claims that his disease was caused by the company's popular herbicide, Roundup. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Lawsuit brings $289 million verdict against maker of Roundup weed killer," 11 Aug. 2018 By all measures, glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, according to the EPA, has low toxicity for humans. Yvette D'entremont, SELF, "Should You Worry About Herbicides In Your Food?," 10 Oct. 2018 Crews have employed a number of tactics, including felling trees with chain saws, girdling their trunks with a blade and spraying the wound with a systemic herbicide. Adrian Higgins, The Seattle Times, "Scientists thought they had created the perfect tree. But it became a nightmare.," 17 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'herbicide.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of herbicide

1899, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for herbicide

Latin herba + International Scientific Vocabulary -cide

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Statistics for herbicide

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for herbicide

The first known use of herbicide was in 1899

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More Definitions for herbicide



English Language Learners Definition of herbicide

: a chemical used to destroy plants or stop plant growth


her·​bi·​cide | \ ˈ(h)ər-bə-ˌsīd \

Medical Definition of herbicide

: an agent used to destroy or inhibit plant growth

Other Words from herbicide

herbicidal \ ˌ(h)ər-​bə-​ˈsīd-​ᵊl \ adjective
herbicidally \ -​ᵊl-​ē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on herbicide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for herbicide

Spanish Central: Translation of herbicide

Nglish: Translation of herbicide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about herbicide

Comments on herbicide

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a servile follower or underling

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