Definition of neonicotinoid in English:



  • A systemic agricultural insecticide resembling nicotine.

    ‘studies have found a link between neonicotinoids and declining bee populations’
    • ‘In general, compounds known as pyrethroids and neonicotinoids were the best performers, according to the researchers.’
    • ‘New studies have strongly suggested that a class of pesticides, neonicotinoids, which are used to kill sucking insects such as aphids by paralysing their nerves, could be responsible for declining global bee populations.’
    • ‘A new breed of insecticides known as the neonicotinoids has been grabbing headlines recently; research indicates links to the collapse of honeybee colonies.’
    • ‘Scientists are also in two minds about the potential harm of neonicotinoids, with some claiming that the actual doses used in the wild aren't enough to do any bee-related damage.’
    • ‘They are both neonicotinoids and are applied directly to the seed by commercial seed treaters.’
    • ‘A team at Scotland's University of Stirling fed bee colonies with doses of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid used on maize and oilseed rape.’
    • ‘Goulson and his colleagues exposed developing bumblebee colonies to a neonicotinoid called imidacloprid in doses comparable to what they might find in the wild.’
    • ‘Neonicotinoids bind irreversibly to receptors in the central nervous system of insects.’
    • ‘A second study at the National Institute for Agricultural Research in France found that honeybees exposed to thiamethoxam, another neonicotinoid, were more than twice as likely to die outside their hives.’


1990s: from neo- + nicotinoid, a type of compound chemically related to nicotine.