Meaning of semiochemical in English:


Pronunciation /ˌsiːmɪə(ʊ)ˈkɛmɪk(ə)l/


  • A pheromone or other chemical that conveys a signal from one organism to another so as to modify the behaviour of the recipient organism.

    ‘Animals or even plants may emit different semiochemicals (including pheromones) which serve as sexual attractants, repellents to potential predators, or inducements to flight mode.’
    • ‘They expected to confirm that grapefruit is highly attractive to the Mexican fruit fly, probably because a grapefruit gives off semiochemicals - a type of chemical signature that insects identify by smell.’
    • ‘In particular, he is trying to determine whether genetically modified soybeans release the same semiochemicals as traditional soybean varieties to attract insects that parasitize stink bugs.’
    • ‘The semiochemical is even strong enough to awaken lab sharks from tonic immobility, an induced, ‘death-feigning’ state during which researchers can go so far as to perform surgery without arousing the animal.’
    • ‘Combined with a juvenile-hormone-type insecticide, such a semiochemical could potentially be used as an effective control method of this mosquito as a disease vector.’


1970s from Greek ēmeion ‘sign’ + chemical.