a chemical preparation for destroying plant, fungal, or animal pests.

Origin of pesticide

First recorded in 1935–40; pest + -i- + -cide
Also called biocide.
Related formspes·ti·cid·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for pesticide

fungicide, defoliant, insecticide, weedkiller, DDT, paraquat

Examples from the Web for pesticide

Contemporary Examples of pesticide

Historical Examples of pesticide

British Dictionary definitions for pesticide



a chemical used for killing pests, esp insects and rodents
Derived Formspesticidal, 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

Word Origin and History for pesticide

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pesticide in Medicine




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.

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