earwig


1ear·wig

noun \-ˌwig\

: an insect that has long, thin feelers and two curved, pointed parts at the end of the body

Full Definition of EARWIG

:  any of numerous insects (order Dermaptera) having slender many-jointed antennae and a pair of cerci resembling forceps at the end of the body

Origin of EARWIG

Middle English erwigge, from Old English ēarwicga, from ēare ear + wicga insect
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Insect Terms

drone, entomology, gadfly, pismire, proboscis, vespine

2earwig

verb
ear·wiggedear·wig·ging

Definition of EARWIG

transitive verb
:  to annoy or attempt to influence by private talk

First Known Use of EARWIG

1837

earwig

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of about 1,100 insect species (order Dermaptera) characterized by large membranous hind wings that lie hidden under short, leathery forewings. Species vary from 0.2 to 2 in. (5 to 50 mm) long, and all are flat, slender, and dark, with a shiny outer covering and simple biting mouthparts. Several species can shoot a foul-smelling liquid, formed in abdominal glands, as far as 4 in. (10 cm). Earwigs have a pair of forceps-like tail pincers (cerci) at the back end of the abdomen that may function in defense, capturing prey, folding wings, or fighting courtship battles.

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