boll weevil


: a usually grayish or brown weevil (Anthonomus grandis grandis) that feeds on the squares and bolls of the cotton plant

Examples of boll weevil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Rice is often grown in fields formerly used for cotton, whose production involved spraying with cacodylic acid (the dimethyl arsenic compound) to kill boll weevil pests, and then with arsenic acid to kill and desiccate the plant prior to mechanical harvesting. Julian Tyson, Discover Magazine, 7 May 2015 For example, the boll weevil was once the main worldwide threat to cotton. Andrew Moseman, Discover Magazine, 14 May 2010 In the Lone Star State, boll weevil traps with pheromones are set up around fields and along roadsides. Mary Beth Gahan, Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2022 In memoriam Enterprise, Alabama, has been enterprising in honoring a pest that nearly destroyed the town's economy a century ago: the boll weevil. CBS News, 15 Sep. 2022 By the 1970s, one-third of all pesticides applied in the United States were used to fight the boll weevil, according to the USDA. Mary Beth Gahan, Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2022 But more than a century ago, a small creature – the boll weevil – nearly destroyed this town. CBS News, 18 Sep. 2022 A century ago, cotton farmers in Enterprise, Ala., faced disaster when their crops were wiped out by an invasive species, the boll weevil. CBS News, 15 Sep. 2022 Enterprise has a long history of celebrating the boll weevil. Leada Gore |, al, 4 Apr. 2022 See More

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

1879, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of boll weevil was in 1879

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Cite this Entry

“Boll weevil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

boll weevil

: a gray or brown weevil whose larva lives in and feeds on the buds and bolls of the cotton plant

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