mal·​a·​thi·​on ˌma-lə-ˈthī-ən How to pronounce malathion (audio)
: 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 But making the plant respond differently to each chemical—like blue for acephate and purple for malathion—is much harder. WIRED, 30 Oct. 2023 Phosmet was detected on more than 10 percent of blueberry samples and malathion on 9 percent. Melissa Breyer, Treehugger, 15 Mar. 2023 Acephate, phosmet and malathion are organophosphates, which interfere with the normal function of the nervous system, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 15 Mar. 2023 Almost 20 million acres (8 million hectares) were treated with 1.3 million gallons (5 million liters) of malathion, according to researchers. Matthew Brown, Star Tribune, 24 June 2021 In 2008, detectable concentrations of malathion were found in 28 percent of frozen blueberry samples, 25 percent of fresh strawberry samples and 19 percent of celery samples, a government report found [MSNBC]. Andrew Moseman, Discover Magazine, 17 May 2010 The agency said in a Feb. 25 draft analysis that malathion could jeopardize 37 species., 8 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'malathion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from Malathion, a trademark

First Known Use

1953, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of malathion was in 1953

Dictionary Entries Near malathion

Cite this Entry

“Malathion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


mal·​a·​thi·​on ˌmal-ə-ˈthī-ən How to pronounce malathion (audio)
: a poisonous insecticide that is broken down in nature

Medical Definition


mal·​a·​thi·​on ˌmal-ə-ˈthī-ən, -ˌän How to pronounce malathion (audio)
: a thiophosphate insecticide C10H19O6PS2 with a lower mammalian toxicity than parathion

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