pest

noun

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
pesty adjective

Example Sentences

These insects are pests for farmers. mice and other household pests You're being a real pest. Would you leave us alone, please?
Recent Examples on the Web But other pest control and local government workers use the stiffest poisons. Zachary T. Sampson, Sun Sentinel, 4 Dec. 2022 But for now the pest control competition is fierce: Pesticides are easily available, easy to apply, take care of multiple insects, and are relatively cheap. WIRED, 23 Nov. 2022 But according to an annual study by the pest-control company Orkin, Chicago is America’s rattiest city — for the eighth year running. Michael Kolomatsky, New York Times, 10 Nov. 2022 The current formula will still be available to farmers, pest control companies and other professional services. Danica Jefferies, NBC News, 28 Oct. 2022 The current formula will still be available to farmers, pest control companies and other professional services. Danica Jefferies, NBC News, 28 Oct. 2022 Invasive pest and plant management will still be practiced along with some basic upkeep. Stephen Underwood, Hartford Courant, 30 July 2022 The current formula will still be available to farmers, pest control companies and other professional services. Danica Jefferies, NBC News, 28 Oct. 2022 Our official pest management handbook suggests various pesticide sprays, most of which are toxic to bees. oregonlive, 2 May 2021 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Middle French peste, from Latin pestis

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near pest

Cite this Entry

“Pest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pest. Accessed 10 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

pest

noun
1
: an epidemic disease which causes a large number of deaths
especially : plague entry 1 sense 2
2
: something resembling a pest in destructiveness
especially : a plant or animal harmful to human beings or human concerns (as agriculture)
3
: one that pesters or annoys : nuisance
pesty adjective

Medical Definition

pest

noun
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
pesty adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on pest

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