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derris Syllabification: der·ris
Pronunciation: /ˈderəs/

Definition of derris in English:

noun

1An insecticide made from the powdered roots of certain tropical plants containing rotenone.
Example sentences
  • This consisted of picking off the mature caterpillars and feeding them to the hens, and a liberal application of derris powder.
  • Jam laced with derris, camphor, citronella or pepper also makes an effective bait.
  • Second, spray the tree with derris, which is widely available, when roughly half the flower petals have fallen.
2A woody, climbing plant of the pea family that bears leathery pods and has tuberous roots from which this insecticide is obtained.
  • Genus Derris, family Leguminosae
Example sentences
  • By the mid 1800s, the heads of chrysanthemum flowers were used to obtain pyrethrum, and rotenone was extracted from the derris plant.
  • The insecticidal properties of Derris roots were first discovered in 1848 and the plant was first used against the nutmeg caterpillar.
  • For rotenone is no post-war insect killer cooked up in a corporate lab, but a natural product, extracted from the derris plant, and a mainstay of organic farms and gardens.

Origin

Mid 19th century (in sense 2): modern Latin (genus name), from Greek, 'leather covering' (referring to the plant's leathery pods). sense 1 dates to the 19th century.

Words that rhyme with derris

Nerys, terrace

Definition of derris in:

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