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[hur-buh-sahyd, ur-] /ˈhɜr bəˌsaɪd, ˈɜr-/
a substance or preparation for killing plants, especially weeds.
1895-1900; herb + -i- + -cide
Related forms
herbicidal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for herbicides
  • They talk of using herbicides strategically, while continuing mechanical methods and introducing biological controls.
  • It has not yet taken even basic measures to reduce possible damage to public health in areas exposed to herbicides.
  • Chemical herbicides can help you reestablish control over a lawn where weeds have gained the upper hand.
  • Herbicidal soaps, corn gluten meal and biological controls are effective alternatives to chemical herbicides.
  • Throw away bottles that have contained pesticides, herbicides, motor oil and other hazardous materials.
  • Various herbicides are effective but have considerable risks for other wetlands plants.
  • Insects and weeds acquire resistance to our insecticides and herbicides through the same process.
  • Last call to apply pre-emergent herbicides to control seeds of pesky lawn and border weeds.
  • But no-till currently comes with the trade-off of using herbicides.
  • Chemical herbicides keep nature at bay for only so long: weeds inevitably develop resistance to the chemicals.
British Dictionary definitions for herbicides


a chemical that destroys plants, esp one used to control weeds
Derived Forms
herbicidal, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for herbicides



1888, originally a trademark name, from herb + -cide.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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herbicides in Science
  (hûr'bĭ-sīd', ûr'-)   
A pesticide used to kill weeds. Paraquat is a herbicide. Compare fungicide, insecticide, rodenticide.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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