\ 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

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 This is another link that shows a lot of diseases and pests to the bean plant. oregonlive, "Ask an expert: Neighbor’s spraying could affect growth, yield of raspberries," 10 May 2020 Waterproof, incredibly strong, resistant to pests and possessing a beautiful, iridescent grain, this hardwood is in great demand on international markets. Jerome Lewis, Scientific American, "How Sustainable Development Ravaged the Congo Basin," 26 Apr. 2020 Burying the flare inhibits oxygen exchange, rots the trunk of the tree and creates a pathway for pests and pathogens. cleveland, "Avoid mulching mistakes and better care for your trees," 23 Apr. 2020 Plants have to be ornamentally appealing, reasonably easy to cultivate over a wide swath of North America, free from serious pest and disease problems and just all-around good plants that could use a little PR boost. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "A life-long love for 'weird' plants means our columnist is extra excited about 'Sun King'," 17 Apr. 2020 Big cities are poised to face water shortages, farms may be unable to plant crops, forests will brown up and be susceptible to pests and the risk of wildfire will grow. Kurtis Alexander,, "California, rest of the West sinking into a rare megadrought, scientists say," 16 Apr. 2020 The four- to six-hour class includes information on choosing a site for your vegetable garden, planting tips, and how to identify and solve common disease and pest problems. Andrea Beck, Better Homes & Gardens, "Brush Up on Your Gardening Skills with These Free Online Classes," 1 Apr. 2020 The container offers superior pest and weed management compared to ground-level planting. Fiona Gilsenan, Popular Mechanics, "How To Build a Raised Garden Bed," 14 Mar. 2020 Gardeners are planting large seedlings that withstand pests and diseases better than small ones. Dean Fosdick, Houston Chronicle, "Sustainable gardening involves eco-friendly practices," 5 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pest

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pest

Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for pest


How to pronounce pest (audio)

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


\ 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


\ 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pest

Spanish Central: Translation of pest

Nglish: Translation of pest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pest for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about pest

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