blister beetle

noun

: a beetle (such as the Spanish fly) used medicinally dried and powdered to raise blisters on the skin
broadly : any of a family (Meloidae) of soft-bodied beetles whose blood contains cantharidin

Examples of blister beetle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What are blister beetles attracted to? Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 7 Apr. 2023 In January 1862, Lewis’ two white roommates accused her of poisoning their wine with Spanish fly, a toxin produced by the blister beetle, often used in those days as an aphrodisiac. Jessica Lynne, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Feb. 2022 There are 30 species of blister beetles in Wisconsin, but they are more commonly found in states farther west such as Kansas, Wyoming and Texas. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 Jan. 2020 In the grand scheme of things, blister beetles are not uncommon in Wisconsin. Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2020 But at the larva stage, blister beetles take a slight detour that brings them in contact with a particular species of bees. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, 12 Sep. 2018 One of the most vicious and twisted is the blister beetle. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, 12 Sep. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blister 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

1771, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of blister beetle was in 1771

Dictionary Entries Near blister beetle

Cite this Entry

“Blister beetle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blister%20beetle. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

blister beetle

noun
: any of a family of soft-bodied beetles including some whose dried bodies are used in medicine to blister the skin

Medical Definition

blister beetle

noun
: any of various beetles (as the Spanish fly) that are used medicinally dried and powdered to raise blisters on the skin
broadly : any of numerous soft-bodied beetles (family Meloidae)

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