\ ˈpest How to pronounce pest (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pest (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for pest


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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 Each new Beazer home includes the full DuPont Tyvek Weatherization system, providing a barrier for moisture control, reduced pollutants and pest management. Dallas News, 5 Sep. 2021 But Machado hoped to help researchers develop better pest-management strategies by delving into how, specifically, grubs use CO2 and other signals to home in on roots. Tess Joosse, Scientific American, 16 Aug. 2021 Clippers guard Pat Beverly, disliked in Phoenix and every other NBA city, was a pest, as usual, and enjoyed the sellout crowd's disdain for him. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 30 June 2021 The ants are most likely a secondary pest, either feeding on the apples after other pests have attacked (e.g., bird opens wound on apple, and ants move in and start feeding), feeding on sap, or there to protect aphids. oregonlive, 23 May 2021 Ish Smith, a 12-team NBA vagabond who always seems to turn into 1974 Tiny Archibald for spurts against the Celtics, was being a pest., 19 May 2021 Kyle Seager became the beneficiary of Ty France's ability to be a pest at the plate. Tim Booth, Star Tribune, 7 Apr. 2021 There is a pest in every season, so be on the lookout! Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Apr. 2021 The snail is a crop pest on citrus and melon plants, which are grown in similar environments to coffee. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pest

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for pest



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


\ ˈpest How to pronounce pest (audio) \

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


\ ˈpest How to pronounce pest (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pest (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on pest

Nglish: Translation of pest for Spanish Speakers

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


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