• synonyms


noun Chemistry, Pharmacology.
  1. a white, crystalline, water-insoluble, poisonous heterocyclic compound, C23H22O6, obtained from derris root: used chiefly as the active ingredient of certain insecticides and in medicine in the treatment of chiggers and scabies.
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Origin of rotenone

1920–25; roten- (said to be < Japanese) + -one
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for rotenone


  1. a white odourless crystalline substance extracted from the roots of derris: a powerful insecticide. Formula: C 23 H 22 O 6; relative density: 1.27; melting pt: 163°C
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Word Origin for rotenone

C20: from Japanese rōten derris + -one
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