pest

noun
\ ˈpest How to pronounce pest (audio) \

Definition of pest

1 : an epidemic disease associated with high mortality specifically : plague
2 : something resembling a pest in destructiveness especially : a plant or animal detrimental to humans or human concerns (such as agriculture or livestock production)
3 : one that pesters or annoys : nuisance

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Other Words from pest

pesty \ ˈpe-​stē How to pronounce pesty (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for pest

Synonyms

pestilence, plague

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Examples of pest in a Sentence

These insects are pests for farmers. mice and other household pests You're being a real pest. Would you leave us alone, please?
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Recent Examples on the Web

Be on the lookout for these pests and make sure to dispose of them before other plants are harmed. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This $15 Plant From Amazon Will Turn Your Backyard Into a Monarch Butterfly Paradise," 30 Apr. 2019 Check for summer pests of mealybugs and scale insects; control with natural sprays 85. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "July in the garden," 30 June 2018 All parts of the plant can be toxic if ingested –– except, alas, for such pests as cabbage worms, spider mites, aphids and whiteflies. R. Daniel Foster, latimes.com, "What a showoff: Ghostly Brugmansia delivers spectacular garden blooms," 22 June 2018 Some firms view themselves as masons, helping clients build stronger walls; others see themselves as exterminators, hunting for pests. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "The Digital Vigilantes Who Hack Back," 30 Apr. 2018 Only very few specimens of the fly are known, but horse flies serve as an important role as pests and as pollinators. Michael Ohl, BostonGlobe.com, "From the Hitler beetle to the Beyoncé fly," 8 Apr. 2018 Sally Fox – Organic Cotton Breeder (1989) Fox revolutionized the textile industry through her work as a pollinator trying to breed more pest-resistant plants. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "32 Women Who’ve Changed Life As We Know It," 31 Mar. 2019 In fact, beekeeper error isn't the only common cause of death—pests, especially certain kinds of mice, can also wreak havoc on your hives. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Beekeeping for Beginners: Everything to Know About Starting Your Own Colony," 5 Apr. 2019 The Norway rat, a common pest in the U.S. Photo: iStock City council members dashed to pass a motion Friday to explore ways of removing the rodents from the seat of government of America’s second largest city. Ian Lovett, WSJ, "Politics Is a Dirty Business—Starting with the Rats at Los Angeles City Hall," 10 Feb. 2019

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

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First Known Use of pest

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pest

Middle French peste, from Latin pestis

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Statistics for pest

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pest

The first known use of pest was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for pest

pest

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pest

: an animal or insect that causes problems for people especially by damaging crops
informal : a person who bothers or annoys other people

pest

noun
\ ˈpest How to pronounce pest (audio) \

Kids Definition of pest

1 : nuisance … Kirsti was such a pest, always butting in.— Lois Lowry, Number the Stars
2 : a plant or animal that is harmful to humans or property

pest

noun
\ ˈpest How to pronounce pest (audio) \

Medical Definition of pest

1 : an epidemic disease associated with high mortality specifically : plague sense 2
2 : something resembling a pest in destructiveness especially : a plant or animal detrimental to humans or human concerns

Other Words from pest

pesty \ ˈpes-​tē How to pronounce pesty (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on pest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pest

Spanish Central: Translation of pest

Nglish: Translation of pest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pest for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pest

Comments on pest

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