in·​sec·​ti·​vore | \ in-ˈsek-tə-ˌvȯr How to pronounce insectivore (audio) \

Definition of insectivore

1 : any of an order (Insectivora) of small usually nocturnal mammals (such as moles, shrews, and hedgehogs) that feed mainly on insects
2 : an insectivorous plant or animal

Examples of insectivore in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The image of what a Mesozoic mammal is—that is, mammals that lived during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods—has often been stereotyped as a small, snuffling insectivore that foraged at night. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 July 2021 The animals are fed produce, mice, crickets, mealworms, eggs, and insectivore pellets. Benjamin Vanhoose,, 30 June 2020 And even when mammals are included in studies of the Mesozoic, they are often characterized as small, shrew-like insectivores like the 205 million-year-old Morganucodon from Wales and China. Riley Black, Smithsonian, 25 Oct. 2019 And all of these species are insectivores, happy to feed on the creatures that provide them shelter. Liz Langley, National Geographic, 25 June 2019 Ironically, white-nose syndrome’s arrival in California comes at a time when local naturalists are taking increasing notice of the chocolate-brown, mouse-size insectivores. Louis Sahagun,, 5 July 2019 These animals play an important role in the ecosystem as insectivores, pollinators and seed dispersers, the authors wrote. Kimberly Hickok, Fox News, 27 Aug. 2018 The researchers live-trapped 12 shrews in June 2014, X-raying the tiny insectivores and implanting them with microchips. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 25 Oct. 2017 Most small lizards are insectivores, which often eat every day. National Geographic, 22 July 2016 See More

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

First Known Use of insectivore

1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for insectivore

New Latin Insectivora, from Latin insectum + -vorus -vorous

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The first known use of insectivore was in 1840

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Cite this Entry

“Insectivore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for insectivore


in·​sec·​ti·​vore | \ in-ˈsek-tə-ˌvō(ə)r, -ˌvȯ(ə)r How to pronounce insectivore (audio) \

Medical Definition of insectivore

1 : any mammal of the order Insectivora
2 : an insectivorous plant or animal

More from Merriam-Webster on insectivore

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for insectivore Encyclopedia article about insectivore


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