earwig was our Word of the Day on 02/05/2011. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of earwig from the Web
The downside is that earwigs are in heaven, enjoying the mulch cover.
Other kids were debating whether an insect was a centipede, an earwig, or some other sort of beetle.
In my experience, by the time the corn is ripe there are no visible silks because earwigs have eaten them.
Pollination occurred before the earwigs had their way.
Potential pests include snails, slugs, earwigs, aphids, leafminers, thrips and whiteflies.
Their defenses are also formidable, from the supertough shell of the ironclad beetle to the toxic spines of the puss caterpillar to the rotting-flesh stink of the shore earwig.
Canned-fish cat food drives the earwigs crazy with desire.
These thick, hardy earwigs, called Arixenia esau, were so strongly attached to the rock that the scientists had to pry them off with forceps.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'earwig.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Earwigs are small insects that were once thought to crawl into the ears of sleeping people. This isn't true - earwigs prefer moist, dark places under leaves and rocks to human ears - but the superstition led people to name the insect ēarwicga, Old English for "ear insect." Over time, people connected the idea of having an insect in one's ear to situations that involve whispering or speaking privately into someone's ear. The noun earwig came to also mean "a whispering busybody" (though this sense is now considered archaic), and the verb earwig evolved to refer to the acts of such meddlers. In British English, the word is more commonly used to mean "eavesdrop," as in "earwigged on their conversation at the party."
EARWIG Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of earwig for English Language Learners
: an insect that has long, thin feelers and two curved, pointed parts at the end of the body
EARWIG Defined for Kids
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