neo·​nic·​o·​ti·​noid ˌnē-(ˌ)ō-ˈni-kə-tə-ˌnȯid How to pronounce neonicotinoid (audio)
plural neonicotinoids
: any of a class of systemic water-soluble insecticides (such as imidacloprid) chemically related to nicotine that are used especially in agriculture to control destructive pests (such as aphids and mites) and that selectively bind to the postsynaptic nicotinic receptors of insects to produce paralysis and death
The class of chemicals, called neonicotinoids, is used in agricultural fields worldwide to reduce crop-eating pests. Beth Mole
Neonicotinoids … are applied as seed or soil treatments, and also directly to the foliage of vegetable, orchard, field, turf and ornamental crops. Kathy Keatley Garvey
Several reports have blamed neonicotinoids, a relatively new class of pesticide, for aiding in the nearly decade-long die-off of honeybees. Douglas Quenqua

called also neonic

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Word History


neo- + nicotinoid "neurotoxic compound related to nicotine," from nicotine + -oid entry 1

First Known Use

1993, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of neonicotinoid was in 1993

Dictionary Entries Near neonicotinoid

Cite this Entry

“Neonicotinoid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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