mal·​a·​thi·​on | \ ˌma-lə-ˈthī-ən How to pronounce malathion (audio) , -ˌän \

Definition of malathion

: an organophosphate broad-spectrum insecticide C10H19O6PS2 that is considerably less toxic to mammals than parathion

Examples of malathion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That means that a normal spray of insecticide such as malathion or spinosad that would control aphids and other sucking insects does not work. Calvin Finch,, "Calvin Finch: How to kill the pests eating your winter garden in San Antonio," 26 Dec. 2020 If the damage to those greens is severe, they can be sprayed with malathion. Calvin Finch,, "Calvin Finch: How to kill the pests eating your winter garden in San Antonio," 26 Dec. 2020 That case stemmed from former Gov. George Deukmejian’s 1989 executive order to begin aerial spraying of malathion in Los Angeles County because of an infestation of the crop-destroying Mediterranean fruit fly. Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Gavin Newsom rebuked by Sutter County court for use of executive power amid COVID-19 pandemic," 2 Nov. 2020 Sevin and malathion are two insecticides that work. Calvin Finch,, "Calvin Finch: Your summer lawn care guide," 11 June 2020 Control them by using malathion or Sevin according to label instructions. Calvin Finch,, "Gardening: Growing figs, apples, pears and plums in your San Antonio backyard; what you need to know," 16 Jan. 2020 Bruce Babbitt declared a state of emergency near Prescott in Yavapai County, and state officials responded by spraying large swaths of range land in seven Arizona counties with malathion to protect cattle forage. John D'anna, azcentral, "Massive waves of grasshoppers are swarming Las Vegas. Could Arizona be their next target?," 30 July 2019 Some gardeners mention pyrethrum as an option for the nymphs, but for the adults, malathion and Sevin are the effective options. Calvin Finch,, "How to stop the bugs eating your tomatoes, peaches," 21 June 2019 By 1966, some of the critters had also evolved resistance to then-popular pesticides such as malathion, diazinon and fenthion. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018

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

1953, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for malathion

from Malathion, a trademark

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Time Traveler for malathion

Time Traveler

The first known use of malathion was in 1953

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Statistics for malathion

Last Updated

18 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Malathion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for malathion


mal·​a·​thi·​on | \ ˌmal-ə-ˈthī-ən, -ˌän How to pronounce malathion (audio) \

Medical Definition of malathion

: a thiophosphate insecticide C10H19O6PS2 with a lower mammalian toxicity than parathion

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