hell·​gram·​mite ˈhel-grə-ˌmīt How to pronounce hellgrammite (audio)
: a carnivorous aquatic North American insect larva that is the young form of a dobsonfly (especially Corydalis cornutus) and is used for fish bait

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web With rubber legs galore, a squirrel tail wing and a squishy chenille body, the bream killer looks like the love child between a hellgrammite and a tarantula. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, 12 Mar. 2020 The lure may imitate a hellgrammite or a crawfish, or perhaps a small baitfish feeding head down. Frank Sargeant, al, 1 Sep. 2019

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

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1866, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hellgrammite was in 1866

Dictionary Entries Near hellgrammite

Cite this Entry

“Hellgrammite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hellgrammite. Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


hell·​gram·​mite ˈhel-grə-ˌmīt How to pronounce hellgrammite (audio)
: the larva of a dobsonfly that lives in water and is much used as fish bait

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