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-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.

algicide

algae

alga, seaweed

bactericide

bacteria

Greek baktēria, staff or cane

deicide

gods

deus

biocide

living organisms

Greek bios, life

fratricide

a brother

frater

fungicide

fungi

English fungus

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

insecticide

insects

English insect

matricide

one's mother

mater

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

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