in·​sec·​ti·​cide | \ in-ˈsek-tə-ˌsīd \

Definition of insecticide

: an agent that destroys insects

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Examples of insecticide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For vacuums with a removable hose, take the hose outside and flush it with a garden hose and nozzle or treat it with insecticide. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Rid of Bedbugs Once and For All," 6 Nov. 2018 This opens the door to testing the potency of different chemicals against these insects—an especially relevant issue in the U.S., where there is currently no insecticide specifically labeled for use against kissing bugs. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "How Tiny Trackers Could Help Humans Avoid Kissing Bugs’ Deadly Smooch," 9 July 2018 Environmental health workers minimize mosquito populations by coating the walls of vulnerable schools and homes with insecticide, a technique called indoor residual spraying. Emily Baumgaertner, New York Times, "In a Rare Success, Paraguay Conquers Malaria," 6 July 2018 Human-rights groups are investigating claims that a plane sprayed cypermethrin, an insecticide, on citizens. The Economist, "Time is running out for Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega," 9 June 2018 But the concerns being raised about insecticides motivated them to look into whether there might be a connection between the two. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Glyphosate is safe, but some scientists still question how we regulate it," 5 June 2018 Arysta makes fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. Aisha Al-muslim, WSJ, "Platform Specialty Products to Sell Agriculture-Chemicals Unit for $4.2 Billion," 20 July 2018 Apply an insecticide and minor nutrient spray to citrus trees at each flush of new growth. Tom Maccubbin,, "July in the garden," 30 June 2018 New Jersey conducted aerial spraying to fight gypsy moths in 2015, using a biological insecticide called Bacillus thuringiensis, B.t. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Salvaging White Oaks Lost To Gypsy Moth Devastation," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insecticide.' 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 insecticide

1865, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for insecticide

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for insecticide

The first known use of insecticide was in 1865

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More Definitions for insecticide



English Language Learners Definition of insecticide

: a chemical substance that is used to kill insects


in·​sec·​ti·​cide | \ in-ˈsek-tə-ˌsīd \

Kids Definition of insecticide

: a chemical used to kill insects


in·​sec·​ti·​cide | \ in-ˈsek-tə-ˌsīd \

Medical Definition of insecticide

: an agent that destroys insects

Other Words from insecticide

insecticidal \ (ˌ)in-​ˌsek-​tə-​ˈsīd-​ᵊl \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on insecticide

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with insecticide

Spanish Central: Translation of insecticide

Nglish: Translation of insecticide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insecticide for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about insecticide

Comments on insecticide

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


a servile follower or underling

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