pheromone

noun
pher·​o·​mone | \ ˈfer-ə-ˌmōn \

Definition of pheromone

: a chemical substance that is usually produced by an animal and serves especially as a stimulus to other individuals of the same species for one or more behavioral responses

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Other Words from pheromone

pheromonal \ ˌfer-​ə-​ˈmō-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of pheromone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Think: Female fruit flies emit a pheromone with a strong unpleasant scent easily detected by humans, which makes them a great way to tell male and female fruit flies apart. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Here are your 2018 Ig Nobel Prize winners," 13 Sep. 2018 Darulio's pheromones help ease tensions between the two ambassadors (temporarily). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The Orville blends science fiction and science fact into a winning mix," 29 Dec. 2018 This pheromone is almost exactly the same as one produced by female bees looking to mate, and that scent is enough to lure in innocent males. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "How Horror Beetles Hitchhike on Bees And Then Eat Their Young," 12 Sep. 2018 The researchers were able to identify the specific pheromone, so powerful a single female fly could spoil a glass of wine. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Here are your 2018 Ig Nobel Prize winners," 13 Sep. 2018 When the beetle larvae hatch, they group together and begin emitting a specific pheromone. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "How Horror Beetles Hitchhike on Bees And Then Eat Their Young," 12 Sep. 2018 Even those who aren’t afraid of the vet or the visit can still smell the scent pheromones left by other animals that have been there—and those smells often announce stress, anxiety, or fear. Ace Ratcliff, SELF, "Pet Euthanasia at Home: 6 Ways to Make Putting Down Your Pet Easier on Them—and You," 25 Oct. 2018 Better eating through chemistry The new work looks a bit more closely at the production of these pheromones and how they are used as part of an attack on a bee. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Gangs of beetle larvae lure fathers of their next meal into sex trap," 12 Sep. 2018 To find females, males fly slowly through the forest broadcasting their light, while females also glow and may emit pheromones. National Geographic, "Living Fireworks, These Animals Produce Light Shows with Their Bodies," 30 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pheromone.' 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 pheromone

1959, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pheromone

Greek phérein "to carry" + -o- + -mone (in hormone) — more at bear entry 2

Note: Name introduced by the German biochemist Peter Karlson (1918-2001) and the Swiss entomologist Martin Lüscher (1917-79) in "'Pheromones': a New Term for a Class of Biologically Active Substances," Nature, vol. 183, no. 4653 (January 3, 1959), pp. 55-56: "We propose, therefore, the designation 'pheromone' for this group of active substances. The name is derived from the Greek pherein, to transfer; hormōn, to excite. Pheromones are defined as substances which are secreted to the outside by an individual and received by a second individual of the same species, in which they release a specific reaction, for example, a definite behaviour or a developmental process."

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Dictionary Entries near pheromone

Pherae

pherecratic

pheresis

pheromone

phew

phi

phial

Statistics for pheromone

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for pheromone

The first known use of pheromone was in 1959

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More Definitions for pheromone

pheromone

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pheromone

biology : a chemical substance that an animal or insect produces in order to attract other animals or insects and especially a mate

pheromone

noun
pher·​o·​mone | \ ˈfer-ə-ˌmōn \

Medical Definition of pheromone

: a chemical substance that is produced by an animal and serves especially as a stimulus to other individuals of the same species for one or more behavioral responses

called also ectohormone

More from Merriam-Webster on pheromone

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pheromone

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