Japanese beetle


: a small metallic green and brown scarab beetle (Popillia japonica) that has been introduced into eastern North America from Japan and as a grub feeds on the roots of grasses and decaying vegetation and as an adult eats foliage and fruits

Illustration of Japanese beetle

Illustration of japanese beetle

Examples of Japanese beetle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Japanese quince trees bloomed on the White House grounds, it was reported, and someone called The Post from Maryland to tell of spotting a Japanese beetle. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2024 In 2020, doctors found a Japanese beetle inside the ear of a 14-year-old girl in Pennsylvania. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 25 Oct. 2023 Anything can happen in a garden, nothing lasts, and yet something can always be made out of the soil, even with the most destructive weather, even when rabbits and groundhogs and Japanese beetles join forces, greedy and ruthless. Yiyun Li, The New Yorker, 23 Oct. 2023 Quick Tangent: The Bugs That Changed Human History Common lawn pests include cutworms, army worms, and a newer threat, the Japanese beetle. Brett Martin, Popular Mechanics, 21 July 2023 The foliage of hardy hibiscus is sometimes a target for whiteflies, aphids and Japanese beetles. Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 16 July 2023 However, some experts and researchers say these devices aren't necessarily the best way to keep Japanese beetles at bay. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 June 2023 Examples might be: the dandelions beginning to flower, the lilac leafing out, the first Japanese beetle on your rose bush, or the oak tree beginning to redden with new leaf buds about to break open in spring. Marianne Willburn, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 Mar. 2023 The package comes with a cicada, a cockroach, a Japanese beetle, a water scorpion and an assassin bug for your amateur entomologists. Good Housekeeping, 18 Nov. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Japanese beetle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1900, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Japanese beetle was in 1900

Dictionary Entries Near Japanese beetle

Cite this Entry

“Japanese beetle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Japanese%20beetle. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

Japanese beetle

: a small glossy green and brown beetle introduced into America from Japan that as a grub feeds on the roots of grasses and on decaying vegetation and as an adult eats leaves, flowers, and fruits

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