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

Definition of pesticide

: an agent used to destroy pests

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Other Words from pesticide

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

Examples of pesticide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The brown pelican is another miracle story of recovery once destructive pesticides were removed from use. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pelican odd by design, graceful in flight," 13 June 2019 Pollution: Oil spills, septic waste and pesticides can also disrupt coral reef ecosystems. Isabelle Gerretsen, CNN, "Can the world's first land-based coral farm save our reefs?," 13 June 2019 In Brazil, contamination is widespread due to a popular pesticide that degrades into PFAS. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "3M has long known it was contaminating the US food supply," 13 June 2019 The manufacturing plant produces chlorothalonil, a pesticide that was recently banned in Europe by a European Union decision in March. Erin Douglas, Houston Chronicle, "Houston pesticide plant to close, company to lay off more than 100," 13 June 2019 According to medical records included in the lawsuit their family doctors suspected the couple had been exposed to organophosphates, chemicals often found in pesticides. Steve Helling,, "Colorado Couple Says They Became Violently Sick at Dominican Resort Where 3 Americans Died," 7 June 2019 Forget about electronics, pesticide sprays and mosquito traps. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Instead of zapping Alaska’s mosquitoes, build a birdhouse," 6 June 2019 Originally scheduled for 2018, the effort was postponed for a year because of a snag in government pesticide permits, organizers say. John Pickrell, Science | AAAS, "Mass rodent poisoning on this remote Australian island could bring back giant stick insect," 5 June 2019 The list ranges from tobacco smoke to pesticides, flame retardants to obesity, all of which can have epigenetic effects. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "THC Could Affect Men's Sperm, New Study Says," 20 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for pesticide

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for pesticide

The first known use of pesticide was circa 1925

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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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Comments on pesticide

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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