cock·​roach | \ ˈkäk-ˌrōch \

Definition of cockroach

: any of an order or suborder (Blattodea synonym Blattaria) of chiefly nocturnal insects including some that are domestic pests — compare German cockroach

Examples of cockroach in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Because, like the saying goes, after a nuclear war, only two species will survive: cockroaches and Cher. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "Kimye, Adam Rippon, Tina Fey, and More Came Out for The Cher Show’s Opening Night," 4 Dec. 2018 Many species of cockroaches and rats have also become nocturnal. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018 Some species are able to fully control their hosts from the inside, forcing cockroaches or spiders to create environments best for their offspring. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Fossils Show Ancient Horrifying Xenomorph-Style Insects," 29 Aug. 2018 The complaint filed by Bertonatti to a special unit of prosecutors that deals with environmental matters includes video showing rats and cockroaches in the enclosures of some of the park's animals. Luis Andres Henao, Fox News, "Giraffe, rhino deaths raise alarm at former Buenos Aires zoo," 22 Aug. 2018 Bloomberg reports the dinner also served appetizers featuring tarantula and cockroach. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "Jeff Bezos has eaten iguana, loves his momma, and other things we learned about the Amazon founder," 12 Mar. 2018 Some of the boldest reporters here, battling with the cockroaches that have taken advantage of the upheaval to wander more freely, have proudly chronicled their confrontations on social media. Rick Kogan,, "Farewell to Tribune Tower: Friday we pack our boxes and depart what has been this newspaper's home," 8 June 2018 Beyond the cockroach, other seemingly uninviting spectacles include a 5-foot-long bloodsucking bedbug, a very hairy bumblebee, and deadly red scorpions. Grace Dickinson,, "17 gigantic bugs have crawled into the Academy of Natural Sciences for 'Xtreme Bugs' exhibit," 22 May 2018 Of all the insect infestations you can be cursed with, silverfish might just be the most skin-crawling — right after cockroaches, of course. Rebecca Straus, Good Housekeeping, "5 Ways to Get Rid of Silverfish," 25 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cockroach.' 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 cockroach

1623, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cockroach

by folk etymology from Spanish cucaracha cockroach

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Statistics for cockroach

Last Updated

24 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for cockroach

The first known use of cockroach was in 1623

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More Definitions for cockroach



English Language Learners Definition of cockroach

: a black or brown insect that is sometimes found in people's homes


cock·​roach | \ ˈkäk-ˌrōch \

Kids Definition of cockroach

: a black or brown insect that is active chiefly at night and can be a troublesome pest in homes


cock·​roach | \ ˈkäk-ˌrōch \

Medical Definition of cockroach

: any of an order or suborder (Blattodea synonym Blattaria) of chiefly nocturnal insects including some that are domestic pests — see blatta, blattella, periplaneta

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More from Merriam-Webster on cockroach

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cockroach

Spanish Central: Translation of cockroach

Nglish: Translation of cockroach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cockroach for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cockroach

Comments on cockroach

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


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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