Definition of malathion in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌmaləˈTHīän/


A synthetic organophosphorus compound that is used as an insecticide and is relatively harmless to plants and other animals.
Example sentences
  • Recommended chemical treatments include such common insecticides as permethrin, malathion, diazinon and sevin.
  • Nearly all of the streams in urban areas contained insecticides commonly used on lawns, such as diazinon and malathion.
  • The alcohol in malathion lotion and the terpenoids may cause stinging.


1950s: from (diethyl) mal(eate) (see maleic acid) + thio- + -on.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mal·a·thi·on

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