gypsy moth


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

Examples of gypsy moth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Efforts to eradicate the invasive species proved fruitless: the gypsy moth remains a scourge to this day. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "These 19th-century astronomical drawings show the beauty of cosmos," 30 Sep. 2018 The gypsy moth is the adult stage of one of the caterpillar species that threaten tree canopies. New York Times, "Where Have All the Gypsy Moths Gone?," 11 May 2018 You’re right up there now with the big guys, with gypsy moths and Japanese beetles. Steven Strogatz, The New Yorker, "When Twenty-Six Thousand Stinkbugs Invade Your Home," 8 Aug. 2011 Not to be outdone, Philadelphia’s Wagner Free Institute of Science noted that a New Englander had introduced the gypsy moth to the United States. Tom Avril,, "Super Bowl science: Philly, Boston museums talk trash on Twitter," 1 Feb. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of gypsy moth

1819, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gypsy moth

Share gypsy moth

Statistics for gypsy moth

Last Updated

24 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gypsy moth

The first known use of gypsy moth was in 1819

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gypsy moth

gypsy moth


English Language Learners Definition of gypsy moth

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

gypsy moth


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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gypsy moth Encyclopedia article about gypsy moth

Comments on gypsy moth

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


amusing and light sparring with words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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