Definition of paraquat in US English:

paraquat

noun

  • A toxic fast-acting herbicide, which becomes deactivated in the soil.

    • ‘In the spring add atrazine to glyphosate or paraquat to control late emerging downy brome.’
    • ‘Future research in this region should focus on farmers with long-term exposure to pesticides - especially paraquat - to check for neurologic damage and respiratory effects.’
    • ‘And the herbicide, called paraquat was so strong that a police officer investigating the death had to be sent to hospital after he sniffed the bottle.’
    • ‘The Rochester team studied the effects of a mixture of two common agrochemicals, the herbicide paraquat and the fungicide maneb.’
    • ‘Some pesticides, such as paraquat and glyphosate, bind very tightly, while others bind only weakly and are readily desorbed or released back into the soil solution.’
    • ‘When glyphosate falls victim to resistance there's only one herbicide equivalent left: paraquat.’
    • ‘Syngenta, one of the world's largest agro-chemical corporations, markets paraquat which is highly toxic, with no known antidote.’
    • ‘Plants were grown at 20°C, 15°C and 18°C, and at 20°C following exposure to the pro-oxidant herbicide paraquat.’
    • ‘To date, epidemiological and animal studies have linked some cases to high exposure to various pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, including paraquat and maneb.’
    • ‘This is in considerable contrast to the large, technologized ‘zeroshade’ cacao plantations, which apply generous amounts of highly toxic herbicides, such as paraquat, and potent insecticides such as endosulfan.’

Origin

1960s: from para- (sense 2) + quaternary (it is a quaternary ammonium salt containing pyridine rings linked at the para-position).

Pronunciation

paraquat

/ˈperəˌkwät//ˈpɛrəˌkwɑt/