Definition of pest in English:
- The biological control of insect pests by using spiders as predators is being studied in four districts of Kerala.
- The single most destructive insect pest for Eastern growers - the infamous plum curculio - is unknown in the West.
- Synthetic pesticides sprayed on crops to check insect pests also kill non-target insects.
At first this was a term for the bubonic plague. It comes via French peste from Latin pestis ‘plague’. Pestilence (Middle English) is from the same root. Pest in the sense of ‘a destructive plant or animal’ is not found until the mid 18th century, when fear of the Black Death has receded. The informal word pesky (late 18th century) may be related to pest perhaps via pesty. Pester (mid 16th century), however, is not directly connected. The source is French empestrer ‘encumber’, but the English form is influenced by pest. Early use included the meanings ‘overcrowd (a place)’ and ‘impede (a person)’. The current sense ‘annoy someone with frequent requests’ is an extension of an earlier use, ‘infest’, referring to vermin. See also plague
Words that rhyme with pestabreast, arrest, attest, beau geste, behest, bequest, best, blessed, blest, breast, Brest, Bucharest, Budapest, celeste, chest, contest, crest, digest, divest, guest, hest, infest, ingest, jest, lest, Midwest, molest, nest, northwest, prestressed, protest, quest, rest, self-addressed, self-confessed, self-possessed, southwest, suggest, test, Trieste, unaddressed, unexpressed, unimpressed, unpressed, unstressed, vest, west, wrest, zest
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