-cide Also -cidal.
A person or substance that kills; an act of killing.
[Latin -cidium and -cidere, from caedere, to strike down or slay.]
One set of words refers to the killing of one human being by another, or self-killing in the case of suicide (sui, of oneself); terms here either describe the act of killing or the person who kills (so infanticide is either the killing of an infant or someone who kills an infant). Another group concerns the destruction of organisms considered undesirable, a general word for which is pesticide and common group terms insecticide, fungicide, and herbicide; terms here denote the agent that kills. Adjectives are formed in -cidal (fratricidal, homicidal).
Examples of words in -cide
All word origins are from Latin unless otherwise stated.
|bactericide||bacteria||Greek baktēria, staff or cane|
|biocide||living organisms||Greek bios, life|
|germicide||a disease germ||English germ|
|genocide||an ethnic or national group||Greek genos, race, stock, kind|
|herbicide||weeds and grasses||herba, herb|
|homicide||murder||homo, man, in practice gender-neutral|
|infanticide||a baby or infant||infant|
|microbicide||microbes||Greek mikros, small, plus bios, life|
|parricide||a parent||parricidium, murder of a parent|
|pesticide||a pest||pestis, plague|
|pseudocide||pretended suicide||Greek pseudēs, false|
|regicide||a king or other ruler||rex|
|rodenticide||rodents, especially rats or mice||rodere, to gnaw|
|spermicide||sperm||Greek sperma, seed|
|suicide||self-killing||sui-, of oneself|