pes·​ti·​cide | \ ˈpe-stə-ˌsīd How to pronounce pesticide (audio) \

Definition of pesticide

: an agent used to destroy pests

Other Words from pesticide

pesticidal \ ˌpe-​stə-​ˈsī-​dᵊl How to pronounce pesticide (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pesticide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The boldest and most damaging toxic-dumping scheme may be this one: Starting in 1947 and 35 years thereafter, the nation’s biggest manufacturer of the pesticide DDT, Montrose Chemical Company, was right here. Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2021 Carson, an ecologist, reported how US bird populations were dying because of the widespread use of the synthetic pesticide DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane). Frank Van Gansbeke, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 How did Rachel Carson curtail use of the pesticide DDT? Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 July 2021 That recovery – mirroring a nationwide trend – came after federal and state protections including banning the pesticide DDT. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 15 July 2021 Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring changed the way the world used the pesticide DDT after revealing its harms in 1962. Anna Funk, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 May 2021 The number of ospreys in North America declined dramatically starting in the 1940s, largely because of exposure to the pesticide DDT. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 May 2021 All produce should be thoroughly washed to remove any pesticide residue, dirt and bacteria. Katy Severson,, 10 Apr. 2021 The insects were largely killed off in the U.S. after the invention of the pesticide DDT. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 1 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pesticide.' 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 pesticide

circa 1925, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for pesticide

Time Traveler

The first known use of pesticide was circa 1925

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Last Updated

16 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pesticide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for pesticide



English Language Learners Definition of pesticide

: a chemical that is used to kill animals or insects that damage plants or crops


pes·​ti·​cide | \ ˈpe-stə-ˌsīd How to pronounce pesticide (audio) \

Kids Definition of pesticide

: a substance used to destroy pests (as insects or weeds)


pes·​ti·​cide | \ ˈpes-tə-ˌsīd How to pronounce pesticide (audio) \

Medical Definition of pesticide

: an agent used to destroy pests


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