pes·ti·cide | \ˈpe-stə-ˌsīd \

Definition of pesticide 

: an agent used to destroy pests

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Other Words from pesticide

pesticidal \ˌpe-stə-ˈsī-dᵊl \ adjective

Examples of pesticide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The reduction of the bee population, particularly the bumblebee who is the most efficient pollinator, is the result of disease, pesticide use, and global warming. Kitty Leshay, Courant Community, "Bees: Essential In Food Production," 27 June 2018 Shannon's website,, says live bee removal is more important today than ever because the use of pesticides to eliminate bee problems has greatly reduced the population of honey bees. Stacey Henson, ajc, "Why a Florida homeowner regrets killing thousands of swarming honey bees," 26 June 2018 Opium poppies must be irrigated, well-fertilized, must get regular applications of pesticides. Mark Stevenson, Fox News, "Mexico opium poppy growers see price drop, turn to marijuana," 22 June 2018 Anderson discussed the effect of pesticides on human health, water quality and bee loss. Anna Bybee-schier,, "Franklin Park to seek ability to regulate pesticide use," 6 June 2018 The truck was carrying 800 gallons of jet fuel and another tank full of pesticides. Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "Tanker overturns on highway, spilling 700 gallons of jet fuel near American River," 4 June 2018 The European Union is banning all outdoor use of pesticides that harm bees, with the new restrictions going beyond those put in place in 2013. Thuy Ong, The Verge, "The EU is banning all outdoor use of pesticides that harm bees," 27 Apr. 2018 Insect-eating birds, which are in steep decline across North America, may be a casualty of pesticides that kill their prey. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Carolina birders took notes for 150 years. Many of the species they saw are gone. | Charlotte Observer," 12 Apr. 2018 But the molecules of most pesticides are much larger. Marygrace Taylor, Good Housekeeping, "Should You Splurge On Organic Essential Oils—Or Are Conventional Just As Safe?," 27 June 2017

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

25 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for pesticide

The first known use of pesticide was circa 1925

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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 \

Kids Definition of pesticide

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


pes·ti·cide | \ˈpes-tə-ˌsīd \

Medical Definition of pesticide 

: an agent used to destroy pests

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More from Merriam-Webster on pesticide

Spanish Central: Translation of pesticide

Nglish: Translation of pesticide for Spanish Speakers

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

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lying above or upon

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