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[pes-tuh-sahyd] /ˈpɛs təˌsaɪd/
a chemical preparation for destroying plant, fungal, or animal pests.
Also called biocide.
Origin of pesticide
1935-40; pest + -i- + -cide
Related forms
pesticidal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pesticide
  • One pesticide alone was harmless, but two together increased the damage by more than a thousandfold.
  • The university does not plan to use pesticide to control the insects.
  • Three-quarters put empty pesticide containers to domestic uses.
  • Neem oil suffocates insects and contains pesticide properties.
  • But pesticide firms have managed to persuade farmers to spray everything with everything regardless.
  • We bombed them with a pesticide and still they came.
  • Beyond that, labels are often explicit about whether the pesticide at hand is toxic to bees, and how to avoid hurting them.
  • pesticide works, but is unpopular anywhere near people.
  • It's much more than farmers planting organic seeds and eliminating pesticide use on their crops.
  • pesticide kills frogs only if predators are around.
British Dictionary definitions for pesticide


a chemical used for killing pests, esp insects and rodents
Derived Forms
pesticidal, 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 pesticide

1939, a hybrid coined from English pest + Latinate -cide.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pesticide in Medicine

pesticide pes·ti·cide (pěs'tĭ-sīd')
A chemical used to kill pests, especially insects.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pesticide in Science
A chemical used to kill harmful animals or plants. Pesticides are used especially in agriculture and around areas where humans live. Some are harmful to humans, either from direct contact or as residue on food, or are harmful to the environment because of their high toxicity, such as DDT (which is now banned in many countries). Pesticides include fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and rodenticides. See more at fungicide, herbicide, insecticide.

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