plural noun

: a widely distributed family of wingless insects (order Corrodentia) that include most book lice and that feed on organic debris and often damage various stored products (as processed foods, book bindings, and herbarium specimens)

Word History


New Latin, from Atropos, type genus (from Greek Atropos) + -idae; from the belief that the ticking sound made by some species of book lice forebodes a death

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Dictionary Entries Near Atropidae

Cite this Entry

“Atropidae.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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