insecticide

noun
in·​sec·​ti·​cide | \ in-ˈsek-tə-ˌsīd How to pronounce insecticide (audio) \
plural insecticides

Definition of insecticide

: 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

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Examples of insecticide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To fight back the swarms, the owner doused the sheep in a wash of the insecticide permethrin. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "US invaded by savage tick that sucks animals dry, spawns without mating," 8 Aug. 2018 The new classes of insecticides introduced in the past 20 years (e.g. neonicotinoids and fipronil) have been especially damaging because they are used routinely and sterilize the soil, killing everything in it. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "The Staggering Worldwide Decline of Insects Is a Warning of Ecosystem Collapse," 13 Feb. 2019 Step 3: Search and destroy Every dark crevice that’s listed above needs an application of insecticide. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Rid of Bedbugs Once and For All," 6 Nov. 2018 Consumer Reports tested clothes treated with the insecticide permethrin and found that none of them was foolproof, plus the EPA classifies permethrin as a likely human carcinogen. Michael Roizen, M.d., And Mehmet Oz, Houston Chronicle, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of treatment," 24 June 2018 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

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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Learn More about insecticide

Statistics for insecticide

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insecticide

The first known use of insecticide was in 1865

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More Definitions for insecticide

insecticide

noun

English Language Learners Definition of insecticide

: a chemical substance that is used to kill insects

insecticide

noun
in·​sec·​ti·​cide | \ in-ˈsek-tə-ˌsīd How to pronounce insecticide (audio) \

Kids Definition of insecticide

: a chemical used to kill insects

insecticide

noun
in·​sec·​ti·​cide | \ in-ˈsek-tə-ˌsīd How to pronounce insecticide (audio) \

Medical Definition of insecticide

: an agent that destroys insects

Other Words from insecticide

insecticidal \ (ˌ)in-​ˌsek-​tə-​ˈsīd-​ᵊl How to pronounce insecticidal (audio) \ 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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about insecticide

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