[mass noun] A synthetic organophosphorus compound which is used as an insecticide.
- ‘It is not likely that malathion will cause reproductive effects in humans under normal circumstances.’
- ‘It is not known whether children are more sensitive to the effects of malathion than adults.’
- ‘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.