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

Definition of insecticide 

: an agent that destroys insects

Examples of insecticide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The program includes all the usual suspects of insecticides and maintaining natural predators, like the bats that loiter around Fort Wilderness. Melissa Locker, ajc, "Here’s why Disney World doesn’t have mosquitoes," 29 June 2018 Formal studies have shown that the sweetener erythritol, which is approved for human consumption, can be fatal to fruit flies, suggesting it could be used as an insecticide. Anna Diamond, Smithsonian, "Do Marine Mammals Yawn and More Questions From Our Readers," 28 June 2018 That policy was suspended in 2015 over concerns about the health effects of the insecticide. John Otis And, WSJ, "In Colombian Vote, a Question Looms Large: Is the Frontrunner a Puppet?," 15 June 2018 Some wore regular clothes, some wore clothes with permethrin — either pretreated or with the insecticide added using home kits. Amy Norton,, "To repel ticks, try insecticide-treated clothes this summer," 30 May 2018 City officials have reportedly been spraying Volgograd Arena and the nearby marshlands with insecticide for the last few days, to little avail. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, "The Bugs of Volgograd: England-Tunisia Match Attracts Pests," 18 June 2018 For instance, knowing how the roaches are able to cope with insecticides could lead to better roach control. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Cockroach Genome Shows Why They Are Impossible to Kill," 21 Mar. 2018 Instead of insecticides, the couple tries to use natural oils and complimentary plants to keep pests away. Kyle Arnold,, "Apopka 'market on a farm' teaches as it feeds local folks," 25 May 2018 Bees and other pollinators have been on the decline for more than a decade, and experts blame a combination of factors: insecticides called neonicotinoids or neonics, parasites, disease, climate change and lack of a diverse food supply. Geir Moulson, Fox News, "Insect ambassadors: Honeybees buzz on Berlin cathedral," 20 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

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Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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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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