cicada

noun
ci·​ca·​da | \ sə-ˈkā-də How to pronounce cicada (audio) , -ˈkä- How to pronounce cicada (audio) , sī-ˈkā- \
plural cicadas also cicadae\ sə-​ˈkā-​(ˌ)dē How to pronounce cicada (audio) , -​ˈkä-​ ; sī-​ˈkā-​ \

Definition of cicada

: any of a family (Cicadidae) of homopterous insects which have a stout body, wide blunt head, and large transparent wings and the males of which produce a loud buzzing noise usually by stridulation

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Did You Know?

Members of a family of insects, cicadas have a stout body, wide blunt head, two pairs of transparent wings, prominent compound eyes, and three simple eyes. Most of the 1,500 known species are found in tropical deserts, grasslands, and forests. Males produce loud noises by vibrating membranes near the base of the abdomen. Most North. American cicadas produce rhythmical ticks, buzzes, or whines, though the "song" of some species is musical. Periodic cicadas, including the well-known 17-year cicada (often erroneously called the 17-year locust) and 13-year cicada appear in regular cycles. Their larvae burrow into the ground, where they remain for 13 or 17 years, feeding on juices sucked from roots. Then they emerge in large numbers to live aboveground as adults for a single week.

Examples of cicada in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Alex Boylan has been in real estate for 17 years, the life cycle of a cicada. Rohan Preston, Star Tribune, "$500k home with accessory dwelling unit in Minneapolis comes with a backstory," 6 Nov. 2020 The fungus gets a home and probably provides the cicada with essential nutrients in return. Max Levy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Cicadas Are Delightful Weirdos You Should Learn to Love," 3 June 2020 First Massospora spores eat away at the cicada's genitals, butt, and abdomen. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "Thunder Threat Increasing Again - What is a "Derecho"?," 11 Aug. 2020 Males produce the cicada sounds; each species has a characteristic song. Jim Gilbert, Star Tribune, "That buzz of summer — the cicada — is more often heard than seen," 30 July 2020 First Massospora spores eat away at the cicada's genitals, butt, and abdomen. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "Thunder Threat Increasing Again - What is a "Derecho"?," 11 Aug. 2020 First Massospora spores eat away at the cicada's genitals, butt, and abdomen. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "Thunder Threat Increasing Again - What is a "Derecho"?," 11 Aug. 2020 They can also be used to create antibacterial surfaces, much like the tiny, similarly shaped rods in a cicada's wings can kill bacteria by rupturing their cell membranes. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Girl With a Pearl Earring," 11 Sep. 2020 First Massospora spores eat away at the cicada's genitals, butt, and abdomen. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "Thunder Threat Increasing Again - What is a "Derecho"?," 11 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cicada.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cicada

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cicada

New Latin, genus name, from Latin, cicada

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Time Traveler for cicada

Time Traveler

The first known use of cicada was in the 14th century

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Statistics for cicada

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cicada.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cicada. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cicada

cicada

noun
How to pronounce cicada (audio) How to pronounce cicada (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cicada

: a large insect

cicada

noun
ci·​ca·​da | \ sə-ˈkā-də How to pronounce cicada (audio) \

Kids Definition of cicada

: an insect that has transparent wings and a stout body and the males of which make a loud buzzing noise

More from Merriam-Webster on cicada

Nglish: Translation of cicada for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cicada

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