[ pes-tuh-sahyd ]
See synonyms for pesticide on
  1. a chemical preparation for destroying plant, fungal, or animal pests.

Origin of pesticide

First recorded in 1935–40; pest + -i- + -cide

Other words from pesticide

  • pes·ti·cid·al, adjective

Words Nearby pesticide Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pesticide in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pesticide


/ (ˈpɛstɪˌsaɪd) /

  1. a chemical used for killing pests, esp insects and rodents

Derived forms of pesticide

  • 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

Scientific definitions for pesticide


[ pĕstĭ-sīd′ ]

  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.