der·​mes·​tid (ˌ)dər-ˈme-stəd How to pronounce dermestid (audio)
: any of a family (Dermestidae) of beetles with clubbed antennae that are very destructive to organic material of animal origin (such as dried meat, wool, or museum specimens)
dermestid adjective

Examples of dermestid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These useful bugs include dermestid beetles, the bugs that strip flesh from dead animals. John Kelly, Washington Post, 7 June 2023 According to the team, the molts came from the larval ancestors of modern-day dermestids. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 2 May 2023 The authors found that some of the feather portions and other remains were in intimate contact with the molts of the dermestid beetles and have some evidence of damage or decay. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 17 Apr. 2023 Then the cleaning crew dries the skulls for a few days before putting them in a colony of dermestid beetles, which will eat off the rest of the fleshy bits. National Geographic, 23 Aug. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dermestid.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


ultimately from Greek dermēstēs, a leather-eating worm, literally, skin eater, from derm- + edmenai to eat — more at eat

First Known Use

circa 1888, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dermestid was circa 1888

Dictionary Entries Near dermestid

Cite this Entry

“Dermestid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

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