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malathion

[mal-uh-thahy-on, ‐uh n] /ˌmæl əˈθaɪ ɒn, ‐ən/
noun
1.
an organic phosphate insecticide, C 10 H 19 O 6 S 2 P, of relatively low toxicity for mammals.
Origin
1953
1953
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for malathion

Malathion

/ˌmæləˈθaɪɒn/
noun
1.
trademark a yellow organophosphorus insecticide used as a dust or mist for the control of house flies and garden pests. Formula: C10H19O6PS2
Word Origin
C20: from (diethyl) mal(eate) + thio- + -on
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for malathion

Malathion

trade name for an organic phosphorus compound that is a general-purpose insecticide considerably less toxic to humans than parathion and is thus suited for the control of household and garden insects. It is important in the control of mosquitoes, flies, and lice. Malathion is a yellow-to-brown liquid with a characteristic unpleasant odour. It is generally prepared by combining O,O'-dimethyl phosphorodithioate with diethyl maleate. It is soluble in most organic solvents except paraffin hydrocarbons, and it is practically insoluble in water. Malathion is readily decomposed by alkalies.

Learn more about Malathion with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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