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

Some companies even sell clothes that have been treated with an insecticide for some extra anti-tick oomph. Kate Sheridan, SELF, "Here’s Exactly What to Do if a Tick Bites You," 14 July 2018 Extreme flooding can increase breeding sites for mosquitoes, and the two that are the region’s main sources of malaria — Anopheles darlingi and Anopheles albitarsis — have begun to show resistance to insecticide. Emily Baumgaertner, New York Times, "In a Rare Success, Paraguay Conquers Malaria," 6 July 2018 These pests have become resistant to some of the common insecticides marketed at your local garden center. Tom Maccubbin,, "Summer heat, rain not kind to geraniums," 30 June 2018 Apply either insecticide as labeled at the beginning of each flush of new growth. Tom Maccubbin,, "Caterpillar invasion isn't end for healthy tree," 14 July 2018 To prevent transmission, public health strategy has largely focused on using insecticides or bed nets. Alexandra Sifferlin, Time, "How a Drug For Pets May Help Prevent Zika and Malaria," 2 July 2018 Helicopters have been deployed to spray insecticide on the Volgograd Arena, which will host four games over the course of the tournament. Jesse Yomtov, USA TODAY, "Massive swarms of bugs are invading the World Cup ahead of England-Tunisia in Volgograd," 18 June 2018 Program workers began spreading insecticide in early May. In September last year, a mosquito in West Bexar County tested positive for West Nile, but Green said she had not yet heard if the virus would be an issue this year. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "Bexar commissioners renew amended jail food contract, nominate company for Enterprise Zone Program," 22 May 2018 Control can consist of applying either a horticultural oil or natural spinosad-containing insecticide. Tom Maccubbin,, "Caterpillar invasion isn't end for healthy tree," 14 July 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

1 Sep 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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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).


the setting in which something occurs

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