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[par-uh-kwaht] /ˈpær əˌkwɑt/
noun, Chemistry.
a toxic herbicide, C 1 2 H 1 4 N 2 ⋅2CH 3 SO 4 , applied to food and flower crops and to highway borders as a defoliant and weed-killer.
Origin of paraquat
1960-65; para-1 + quat(ernary), in reference to the bond between the two pyridyl groups, which is in the para position with respect to their quaternary nitrogen atoms Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for paraquat


trademark a yellow extremely poisonous soluble solid used in solution as a weedkiller
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 paraquat

quick-acting herbicide, 1961, from para- (1) + first element in quaternary. So called in reference to its chemical configuration.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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paraquat in Medicine

paraquat par·a·quat (pār'ə-kwŏt')
A colorless compound or a related yellow compound used as a herbicide.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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paraquat in Science
A toxic compound used as a herbicide, especially in its colorless, dichloride form (C12H14Cl2N2) or in its yellow, bismethyl sulfate form (C14H20N2O8S2). Paraquat is used primarily to control grass and weeds. Its use in the United States is restricted because of its high level of toxicity.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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