gypsy moth

noun

Definition of gypsy moth

: an Old World tussock moth (Lymantria dispar) that was introduced about 1869 into the U.S. and has a grayish-brown mottled hairy caterpillar which is a destructive defoliator of many trees

Note: The Entomological Society of America announced in July 2021 that it would be renaming this insect because of the offensiveness of the historical name. This entry will be updated when a new name is announced.

— see usage paragraph at gypsy

Examples of gypsy moth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At the time of the last major outbreak, a fungus significantly decreased the gypsy moth population. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 14 June 2021 Bug experts are dropping the common name of a destructive insect because it's considered an ethnic slur: the gypsy moth. Seth Borenstein, Star Tribune, 9 July 2021 Bug experts are dropping the common name of a destructive insect because it's considered an ethnic slur: the gypsy moth. Fox News, 9 July 2021 But that's impossible since gypsy moth caterpillars wiped his trees and bushes clean this year. Keely Aouga And Evan Simko-bednarski, CNN, 4 July 2021 Vermont is experiencing its worst outbreak of leaf-munching gypsy moth caterpillars since 1991, according to state foresters. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, 14 June 2021 An infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars can have a ripple effect, Petrice said. Keely Aouga And Evan Simko-bednarski, CNN, 4 July 2021 Although gypsy moth caterpillars are damaging, otherwise healthy trees can often survive a few years of successive defoliation. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 14 June 2021 The gypsy moth is one of North America's most devastating invasive forest pests, according to the Indianapolis Department of Natural Resources. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 15 Mar. 2021

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

1742, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for gypsy moth

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The first known use of gypsy moth was in 1742

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Dictionary Entries Near gypsy moth

gypsylike

gypsy moth

Gypsy scale

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Cite this Entry

“Gypsy moth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gypsy%20moth. Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for gypsy moth

gypsy moth

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gypsy moth

: a type of moth whose caterpillar does great damage to trees by eating the leaves

gypsy moth

noun

Kids Definition of gypsy moth

: a moth whose caterpillar does great damage to trees by eating the leaves

More from Merriam-Webster on gypsy moth

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gypsy moth

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