pest

noun
\ ˈpest \

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 \ adjective

Synonyms for pest

Synonyms

pestilence, plague

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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

Robot research has been looking to the animal kingdom for inspiration—and a new bio-mimicking robot tackles one of nature's most irritating pests to prevent their real life counterparts from pestering plants. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "This Robot Helped Uncover the Flying Secrets of Fruit Flies," 13 Sep. 2018 Good news: There are ways to get rid of the pests and plenty of other ways to prevent them from entering in the first place. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "What You Need To Know If You Ever See A Roach In Your House," 19 Aug. 2018 To minimize damage from the pests there are a few tactics available to gardeners. Katie Bernard, kansascity, "Don't trap the Japanese beetles wreaking havoc on your garden — that'll make it worse," 3 July 2018 For farmers, protecting fields from pests and plagues is a constant battle fought on multiple fronts. Brooke Borel, Scientific American, "Weeds Are Winning the War against Herbicide Resistance," 18 June 2018 The pesticides are commonly coated onto seeds to protect them from soil pests; when the seed germinates, the pesticide is absorbed and spreads through the tissue. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "European Union expands ban of three neonicotinoid pesticides," 27 Apr. 2018 One member of the team spends six hours every Friday inspecting the plants to prevent damage from pests and diseases. Kendra Parks, NOLA.com, "High above the Morial Convention Center, a rooftop garden grows fresh food for conventioneers," 26 Apr. 2018 For example, a new pest or disease could arrive that afflicts popular species, the way the emerald ash borer has devastated ash trees. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "Think about space, pests, diversity before buying a new tree," 25 Apr. 2018 And Drosophila isn't a major agricultural pest or a disease vector. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Gene drive used to turn all female mosquitos sterile," 27 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for pest

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pest

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

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More Definitions for pest

pest

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pest

: an animal or insect that causes problems for people especially by damaging crops

: a person who bothers or annoys other people

pest

noun
\ ˈpest \

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

pest

noun
\ ˈpest \

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 \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on pest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pest

Spanish Central: Translation of pest

Nglish: Translation of pest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pest for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pest

Comments on pest

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