neonicotinoid

play
noun neo·nic·o·ti·noid \¦nē-(ˌ)ō-¦ni-kə-tə-ˌnȯid\

Definition of neonicotinoid

plural

neonicotinoids

  1. :  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

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

1993

First Known Use of neonicotinoid

1993


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up neonicotinoid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to criticize severely

Get Word of the Day daily email!