Definition of cicada
cicadaeplay \-ˈkā-(ˌ)dē, -ˈkä-\
: 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
Recent Examples of cicada from the Web
Dan pointed out that this is particularly interesting because the fungus is able to prey upon cicadas despite their long, 17-year life cycle.
From North Carolina to New Jersey and Ohio to Indiana, Brood X cicadas are suddenly popping up in the United States.
Beneath the Muzak was the screeching static of cicadas, and underneath that absolute silence.
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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of cicada
New Latin, genus name, from Latin, cicada
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
CICADA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of cicada for English Language Learners
: a large insect
CICADA Defined for Kids
Definition of cicada for Students
: an insect that has transparent wings and a stout body and the males of which make a loud buzzing noise
Seen and Heard
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