cabbage butterfly


: any of several largely white butterflies (family Pieridae) whose green larvae are cabbage worms
especially : a small cosmopolitan butterfly (Pieris rapae synonym Artogeia rapae) that is a pest on cabbage

called also cabbage white

Illustration of cabbage butterfly

Illustration of cabbage butterfly
  • 1 larva
  • 2 adult

Examples of cabbage butterfly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Viceroy butterflies winter-over in the caterpillar stage, while the white cabbage butterfly lives though winter in the form of a chrysalis. Jim Gilbert, Star Tribune, 19 Nov. 2020 Spearmint and peppermint are useful in attracting bees and repelling black flea beetles, ants, mosquitoes, white cabbage butterflies, aphids, and cabbage maggots., 29 Mar. 2018 Pieris Project asks citizen scientists to record information about Pieris rapae, or the white cabbage butterfly. National Geographic, 22 Apr. 2017

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

1781, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cabbage butterfly was in 1781

Dictionary Entries Near cabbage butterfly

Cite this Entry

“Cabbage butterfly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

cabbage butterfly

: any of several mostly white butterflies whose caterpillars feed on cabbages
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