para·​quat | \ ˈper-ə-ˌkwät How to pronounce paraquat (audio) , ˈpa-rə- \

Definition of paraquat

: a highly toxic contact herbicide containing a salt of a cation [C12H14N2]2+

Examples of paraquat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An investigation by Public Eye, a Swiss NGO, and Unearthed, the journalism branch of Greenpeace, quotes the doctor Shankar Ramchandani, who went on a 2019 hunger strike in Odisha, India to protest paraquat sales. Christine Ro, Forbes, 4 Apr. 2021 Similarly, in South Korea, a ban on the herbicide paraquat was followed by a 50% decrease in suicide deaths from pesticide poisoning from 2011-2013. Katie Hunt, CNN, 9 Sep. 2019 For comparison, a 2010 study found that 42.7 percent of people admitted to two Sri Lankan hospitals for suicide attempts involving the herbicide paraquat wound up dying. Dylan Matthews, Vox, 15 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paraquat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of paraquat

circa 1961, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for paraquat

para- + quaternary

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About paraquat

Time Traveler for paraquat

Time Traveler

The first known use of paraquat was circa 1961

See more words from the same year

Statistics for paraquat

Last Updated

25 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Paraquat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for paraquat


para·​quat | \ ˈpar-ə-ˌkwät How to pronounce paraquat (audio) \

Medical Definition of paraquat

: an herbicide containing a salt of a cation [C12H14N2]2+ that is used especially as a weed killer and that is extremely toxic to the liver, kidneys, and lungs if ingested

More from Merriam-Webster on paraquat Encyclopedia article about paraquat


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!