cac·​to·​blas·​tis | \ ˌkaktəˈblastə̇s \

Definition of cactoblastis

1 capitalized : a genus of small moths (subfamily Phycitinae of the family Pyralidae) native to South America including the cactus moth (C. cactorum) which has been introduced into Australia to control prickly-pear infestation
2 plural cactoblastes\ -​ˌtēz \ : cactus moth

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of cactoblastis

1931, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cactoblastis

New Latin, from cactus + -o- + -blastis -blast

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cactoblastis

Time Traveler for cactoblastis

Time Traveler

The first known use of cactoblastis was in 1931

See more words from the same year

Statistics for cactoblastis

Cite this Entry

“Cactoblastis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Comments on cactoblastis

What made you want to look up cactoblastis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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