assassin bug


: any of a family (Reduviidae) of bugs that are usually predatory on insects though some (such as a kissing bug) suck the blood of mammals

called also reduviid

Illustration of assassin bug

Illustration of assassin bug

Examples of assassin bug in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Unlike squash bugs, assassin bugs are solitary critters, and they’re rarely seen in groups. Lauren Landers, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 June 2024 That's because this is a white-eyed assassin bug., 30 Apr. 2021 The creature was likely Triatoma infestans, a kissing bug—one of the almost 7,000 species of assassin bug that are now described. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 21 Mar. 2018 Robert Jackson and Simon Pollard from the University of Canterbury have been studying a pretender with a much more gruesome disguise – the ant-snatching assassin bug Acanthaspis petax, which covers itself with the corpses of its own prey. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 4 Oct. 2010 Exploitation of environmental noise by an araneophagic assassin bug. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 5 Feb. 2012 Witness an assassin bug luring a spider to its doom with bad vibes. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 27 Dec. 2010 The assassin bug sucks up the soupy tissue and attaches the corpse to its back like a creepy backpack. Holly Barker, Discover Magazine, 7 Oct. 2022 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 'assassin bug.' 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

1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of assassin bug was in 1890

Dictionary Entries Near assassin bug

Cite this Entry

“Assassin bug.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

assassin bug

as·​sas·​sin bug ə-ˈsas-ᵊn- How to pronounce assassin bug (audio)
: any bug of the family Reduviidae compare conenose

More from Merriam-Webster on assassin bug

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!