Go to 'thermo-' entry Go to 'dino-' entry Go to 'chondro-' entry Go to 'aero-' entry Go to '-logy' entry Go to 'thaumato-' entry Go to 'nano-' entry Go to '-sophy' entry Go to 'bucco-' entry Go to '-ism' entry Go to '-lysis' entry Go to 'galacto-' entry Go to '-anthropy' entry Go to 'pneumo-' entry Go to '-ploitation' entry Go to '-lithic' entry Go to '-sepalous' entry Go to 'onco-' entry Go to '-parous' entry Go to 'dermato-' entry Go to 'multi-' entry Go to 'dodeca-' entry Go to '-zoon' entry Go to 'vermi-' entry Go to 'crystallo-' entry Go to 'biblio-' entry Go to 'eco-' entry Go to 'juxta-' entry Go to 'facio-' entry
Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

-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.

algicidealgaealga, seaweed
bactericidebacteriaGreek baktēria, staff or cane
deicidegodsdeus
biocideliving organismsGreek bios, life
fratricidea brotherfrater
fungicidefungiEnglish fungus
germicidea disease germEnglish germ
genocidean ethnic or national groupGreek genos, race, stock, kind
herbicideweeds and grassesherba, herb
homicidemurderhomo, man, in practice gender-neutral
infanticidea baby or infantinfant
insecticideinsectsEnglish insect
matricideone's mothermater
microbicidemicrobesGreek mikros, small, plus bios, life
parricidea parentparricidium, murder of a parent
pesticidea pestpestis, plague
pseudocidepretended suicideGreek pseudēs, false
regicidea king or other rulerrex
rodenticiderodents, especially rats or micerodere, to gnaw
spermicidespermGreek sperma, seed
suicideself-killingsui-, of oneself

Visit Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words site for 2000+ articles on English!

Copyright © Michael Quinion 2008–. All rights reserved. Page last updated 10 August 2009.
Your comments are very welcome.