insecticide

noun

in·​sec·​ti·​cide in-ˈsek-tə-ˌsīd How to pronounce insecticide (audio)
plural insecticides
: an agent that destroys one or more species of insects
broadly : an agent that destroys insects as well as other small pests (such as mites or nematodes)
Aphids, mealybugs, and cyclamen mites are all common problems and can be controlled with any low-toxicity insecticide sold specifically for houseplants. Horticulture

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The effects of this powerful insecticide can last for up to 12 months. Kat De Naoum, Better Homes & Gardens, 26 Sep. 2022 Pick them off with a toothpick or use a systemic insecticide formula to get rid of them. Mariah Thomas, Good Housekeeping, 31 Oct. 2022 Plus: Best for Fast Results One of the ingredients of Comfortis is Spinosad, an insecticide that targets the nervous system of pests. Doggie Corp, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Oct. 2022 To avoid pest problems, spray plants with a nontoxic insecticide such as neem oil before bringing them inside. Sarah Karnasiewicz, WSJ, 8 Sep. 2022 Try a systemic insecticide made for trees and shrubs following label instructions. Tom Maccubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 20 Aug. 2022 Perhaps the best control is the use of a systemic insecticide available from local garden centers applied as a spray or soil treatment as instructed on the label. Tom Maccubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 6 Aug. 2022 The insecticide works by inhibiting development, preventing nymphs from growing into adults. Claire Rush, USA TODAY, 27 June 2022 The insecticide works by inhibiting development, preventing nymphs from growing into adults. CBS News, 27 June 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of insecticide was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near insecticide

Cite this Entry

“Insecticide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/insecticide. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

insecticide

noun

in·​sec·​ti·​cide in-ˈsek-tə-ˌsīd How to pronounce insecticide (audio)
: a chemical used to kill insects
insecticidal
(ˌ)in-ˌsek-tə-ˈsīd-ᵊl
adjective

Medical Definition

insecticide

noun

in·​sec·​ti·​cide in-ˈsek-tə-ˌsīd How to pronounce insecticide (audio)
: an agent that destroys insects
insecticidal adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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