One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A highly toxic synthetic organophosphorus compound containing phosphorus and sulphur, used as an agricultural insecticide.
- ‘The organophosphate type of insecticides (examples parathion and malathion) vary greatly in their toxicity and hazard to man.’
- ‘These pesticides include the insecticides methyl parathion, lindane and DDT.’
- ‘In India, cases of pesticide poisoning have been reported ever since 1953, when 102 persons died of ethyl parathion, the first insecticide to be introduced in the country.’
- ‘Some prominent examples are the insecticides parathion, fenitrothion, malathion, and phosphamidon.’
- ‘The agency has already taken the needed action limiting methyl parathion and chlorpyrifos.’
1940s: from para- (sense 2) + thio- + -on.
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