doodlebug

noun
doo·​dle·​bug | \ ˈdü-dᵊl-ˌbəg How to pronounce doodlebug (audio) \

Definition of doodlebug

1 : the larva of an ant lion also : any of several other insects
2 : a device (such as a divining rod) used in attempting to locate underground gas, water, oil, or ores

First Known Use of doodlebug

circa 1866, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for doodlebug

probably from doodle fool + bug

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about doodlebug

Time Traveler for doodlebug

Time Traveler

The first known use of doodlebug was circa 1866

See more words from the same year

Statistics for doodlebug

Cite this Entry

“Doodlebug.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doodlebug. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on doodlebug

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with doodlebug

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about doodlebug

Comments on doodlebug

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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