elytron

noun

el·​y·​tron ˈe-lə-ˌträn How to pronounce elytron (audio)
plural elytra ˈe-lə-trə How to pronounce elytron (audio)
: one of the anterior wings in beetles and some other insects that serve to protect the posterior pair of functional wings

Illustration of elytron

Illustration of elytron
  • elytron E

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The creatures use the edge of the elytron and abdominal movements to fold the wing along creased lines. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 19 May 2017 The creatures use the edge of the elytron and abdominal movements to fold the wing along creased lines. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 19 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elytron.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Greek, sheath, wing cover, from eilyein to roll, wrap — more at voluble

First Known Use

1774, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of elytron was in 1774

Dictionary Entries Near elytron

Cite this Entry

“Elytron.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elytron. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

elytron

noun
el·​y·​tron ˈel-ə-ˌträn How to pronounce elytron (audio)
variants also elytrum
-trəm
plural elytra -trə How to pronounce elytron (audio)
: one of the thick modified front wings in beetles and some other insects that protect the hind pair of wings that are used for flying
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