Definitions for DDT
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word DDT
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a toxic compound, C14H9Cl5, formerly widely used as an insecticide.
Origin of DDT:
an insecticide that is also toxic to animals and humans; banned in the United States since 1972
; an insecticide.
a move where a wrestler puts another wrestler into a standing front face lock and then falls backwards, driving the recipient's head into the floor.
DDT is an organochlorine insecticide which is a colorless, crystalline solid, tasteless and almost odorless chemical compound. Technical DDT has been formulated in almost every conceivable form including solutions in xylene or petroleum distillates, emulsifiable concentrates, water-wettable powders, granules, aerosols, smoke candles, and charges for vaporisers and lotions. First synthesized in 1873, DDT's insecticidal properties were not discovered until 1939, and it was used with great success in the second half of World War II to control malaria and typhus among civilians and troops. The Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1948 "for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods." After the war, DDT was made available for use as an agricultural insecticide, and soon its production and use skyrocketed. In 1962, Silent Spring by American biologist Rachel Carson was published. The book catalogued the environmental impacts of the indiscriminate spraying of DDT in the US and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without fully understanding their effects on ecology or human health. The book suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. Its publication was one of the signature events in the birth of the environmental movement, and resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led to DDT being banned for agricultural use in the US in 1972. DDT was subsequently banned for agricultural use worldwide under the Stockholm Convention, but its limited use in disease vector control continues to this day and remains controversial.
The New Hacker's Dictionary
[from the insecticide para-dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethene] 1. Generic term for a program that assists in debugging other programs by showing individual machine instructions in a readable symbolic form and letting the user change them. In this sense the term DDT is now archaic, having been widely displaced by debugger or names of individual programs like adb, sdb, dbx, or gdb. 2. [ITS] Under MIT's fabled ITS operating system, DDT (running under the alias HACTRN, a six-letterism for ‘Hack Translator’) was also used as the shell or top level command language used to execute other programs. 3. Any one of several specific DDTs (sense 1) supported on early DEC hardware and CP/M. The PDP-10 Reference Handbook (1969) contained a footnote on the first page of the documentation for DDT that illuminates the origin of the term:Historical footnote: DDT was developed at MIT for the PDP-1 computer in 1961. At that time DDT stood for “DEC Debugging Tape”. Since then, the idea of an on-line debugging program has propagated throughout the computer industry. DDT programs are now available for all DEC computers. Since media other than tape are now frequently used, the more descriptive name “Dynamic Debugging Technique” has been adopted, retaining the DDT abbreviation. Confusion between DDT-10 and another well known pesticide, dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane C14H9Cl5 should be minimal since each attacks a different, and apparently mutually exclusive, class of bugs.(The ‘tape’ referred to was, incidentally, not magnetic but paper.) Sadly, this quotation was removed from later editions of the handbook after the suits took over and DEC became much more ‘businesslike’.The history above is known to many old-time hackers. But there's more: Peter Samson, compiler of the original TMRC lexicon, reports that he named DDT after a similar tool on the TX-0 computer, the direct ancestor of the PDP-1 built at MIT's Lincoln Lab in 1957. The debugger on that ground-breaking machine (the first transistorized computer) rejoiced in the name FLIT (FLexowriter Interrogation Tape). Flit was for many years the trade-name of a popular insecticide.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A polychlorinated pesticide that is resistant to destruction by light and oxidation. Its unusual stability has resulted in difficulties in residue removal from water, soil, and foodstuffs. This substance may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen: Fourth Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTP-85-002, 1985). (From Merck Index, 11th ed)
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