Definition of neonicotinoid
: any of a class of broad-spectrum insecticides having a chemical structure similar to that of nicotine and acting on the central nervous system of insects by selectively binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors Neonicotinoids are neurotoxins that, as the name implies, chemically resemble nicotine. They are considered safer for humans than many other classes of pesticides, because they interfere with neural pathways that are more common in insects than in mammals … — Elizabeth Kolbert, New Yorker, 6 Aug. 2007 French and German beekeepers blame their losses on insecticides called neonicotinoids—but France banned them 10 years ago and its bees are still dying. — Debora MacKenzie, New Scientist, 14 Feb. 2009
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