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

Neonicotinoids, a separate class of chemicals, are the most widely used pesticides in the world. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Glyphosate is safe, but some scientists still question how we regulate it," 5 June 2018 Terry died 12 years ago, at 50, from a rare brain tumor — an illness La Rhea thinks was related to a childhood spent on a farm that relied on synthetic pesticides. Erin Quinn-kong, Woman's Day, "Are Your Fast-Fashion Clothes Killing Farmers?," 14 Feb. 2019 The money from the taxes, the first installments of which were due April 30, is supposed to pay for marijuana research and regulation as well as programs to prevent drug abuse, protect the environment and test for pesticides. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "Alameda, San Francisco lead Bay Area counties in collection of millions in cannabis taxes," 11 May 2018 Apply around the base of the plant early in the season to manage the population, avoid injury to bees and allow time for the pesticides to degrade before harvest. Melinda Myers, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Start early to prevent or minimize squash bugs," 23 Feb. 2018 There's tremendous potential for efficiencies in the large-scale application of mechanization, fertilization, and pesticide use. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Urban farms could be incredibly efficient—but aren’t yet," 27 Dec. 2018 The bloated carcasses of hundreds of thousands of hogs, chickens and other drowned livestock bobbed in a nose-stinging soup of fecal matter, pesticides, fertilizer and gasoline so toxic that fish flopped helplessly on the surface to escape it. Michael Biesecker, The Seattle Times, "Hurricane could flood many waste sites, creating toxic brew," 11 Sep. 2018 Arnold said the number of rabid bats found in a particular area can fluctuate from year to year based on weather patterns and the abundance of prey, which itself is affected by temperature and pesticide use. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "2 more rabid bats found in Will County," 18 June 2018 Road deaths also take a toll as does pesticide use. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The UK’s Hedgehogs (and Other Mammals) Are In Danger," 16 June 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

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


to boil down or concentrate

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