Dictionary

larva

noun lar·va \ˈlär-və\

: a very young form of an insect that looks like a worm

plural lar·vae \-(ˌ)vē, -ˌvī\ also larvas

Full Definition of LARVA

1
:  the immature, wingless, and often wormlike feeding form that hatches from the egg of many insects, alters chiefly in size while passing through several molts, and is finally transformed into a pupa or chrysalis from which the adult emerges
2
:  the early form of an animal (as a frog or sea urchin) that at birth or hatching is fundamentally unlike its parent and must metamorphose before assuming the adult characters
lar·val \-vəl\ adjective
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Examples of LARVA

  1. The larva of a butterfly is called a caterpillar.
  2. <the larva looked ugly, but it was destined to hatch into a beautiful butterfly>

Origin of LARVA

New Latin, from Latin, specter, mask; akin to Latin lar Lar
First Known Use: 1768

Related to LARVA

Synonyms
naiad, nymph
LARVA Defined for Kids

larva

noun lar·va \ˈlär-və\
plural lar·vae \-vē\

Definition of LARVA for Kids

1
:  a young wingless form (as a grub or caterpillar) of many insects that hatches from an egg
2
:  an early form of any animal (as a frog) that at birth or hatching is very different from its parents

Word History of LARVA

To biologists in the 1700s, the adult was the only genuine form of an insect. The stages that come between the egg and the adult in many insects' lives were considered somehow unreal, or at best disguises. These stages were named with the Latin words pupa, doll, and larva, which in the Latin of the ancient Romans was a sort of ghostly demon or a mask representing a demon. Although to modern biologists larvae such as caterpillars are as real as adults, the traditional terms larva and pupa remain with us.
Medical Dictionary

larva

noun lar·va \ˈlär-və\
plural lar·vae \-(ˌ)vē, -ˌvī\ also larvas

Medical Definition of LARVA

1
:  the immature, wingless, and often wormlike feeding form that hatches from the egg of many insects, alters chiefly in size while passing through several molts, and is finally transformed into a pupa or chrysalis from which the adult emerges
2
:  the early form of an animal (as a frog) that at birth or hatching is fundamentally unlike its parent and must metamorphose before assuming the adult characters
lar·val \-vəl\ adjective

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July 29, 2015
indomitable Hear it
incapable of being subdued or conquered
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