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parathion

[par-uh-thahy-on] /ˌpær əˈθaɪ ɒn/
noun, Chemistry
1.
a deep-brown to yellow, poisonous liquid, C 1 0 H 1 4 NO 5 PS, used as an insecticide.
Origin
1945-1950
1945-50; para-1 + thi- + -on(e)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for parathion

parathion

/ˌpærəˈθaɪɒn/
noun
1.
a slightly water-soluble toxic oil, odourless and colourless when pure, used as an insecticide. Formula: C10H14NO5PS
Word Origin
C20: from para-1 + thio- + -on
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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parathion in Medicine

parathion par·a·thi·on (pār'ə-thī'ŏn)
n.
A highly poisonous organic phosphate insecticide that is an irreversible inhibitor of cholinesterase.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for parathion

an organic phosphorus compound well known as an insecticide that is extremely toxic to humans. The compound acts in mammals, as in insects, as a cholinesterase inhibitor (cholinesterase being the enzyme that controls the normal functioning of the nervous system), causing death by inducing respiratory failure. The specific antidote for poisoning by parathion and other organophosphorus insecticides is atropine. Parathion and similar insecticides must be handled with great care because the substance is toxic if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. Parathion may be rendered nontoxic by application of an alkaline solution.

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