her·​bi·​cide | \ˈ(h)ər-bə-ˌsīd \

Definition of herbicide 

: an agent used to destroy or inhibit plant growth

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 As a result, most studies focus specifically on the herbicide, since studying individual formulations would leave the work without much statistical power. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Lawsuit brings $289 million verdict against maker of Roundup weed killer," 11 Aug. 2018 With a small staff, Samuelle oversees thirty-nine acres of vines, using only natural, herbicide-free methods, the way Yves's grandfather taught him. Molly Wizenberg, Town & Country, "Vintage Bordeaux," 14 Jan. 2013 In some states including Minnesota and Arkansas, herbicide-resistant pigweed is so persistent that farmers have resorted to hiring laborers to handpick or blowtorch the weeds. Brooke Borel, Scientific American, "Weeds Are Winning the War against Herbicide Resistance," 18 June 2018 The same herbicide that would eliminate existing Dallisgrass and grassburs could be used to get rid of St. Augustine within Bermuda without harming the Bermuda. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "Turf troubles? Here's advice to get you in the green again | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 2 May 2018 In most cases an application of a glyphosate-only herbicide (no other active ingredients) will do the best job. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "It's time to make up ground in your garden with this guide to ground covers | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 23 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of herbicide

1899, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for herbicide

Latin herba + International Scientific Vocabulary -cide

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about herbicide

Statistics for herbicide

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for herbicide

The first known use of herbicide was in 1899

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on herbicide

Spanish Central: Translation of herbicide

Nglish: Translation of herbicide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about herbicide

Comments on herbicide

What made you want to look up herbicide? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!