in·​sec·​ti·​vore | \in-ˈsek-tə-ˌvȯr \

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 researchers live-trapped 12 shrews in June 2014, X-raying the tiny insectivores and implanting them with microchips. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Shrews Shrink Their Skulls and Brains for the Winter," 25 Oct. 2017 Most small lizards are insectivores, which often eat every day. National Geographic, "Colorful, Venomous Lizard Is Declining Due to Climate Change," 22 July 2016 Reptilian, amphibian, and mammalian insectivores could have also heard A. musicus’ song. Brandon Keim, WIRED, "Audio: 165-Million-Year-Old Cricket Song Comes Back to Life," 6 Feb. 2012

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.

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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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English Language Learners Definition of insectivore

: an animal that eats insects


in·​sec·​ti·​vore | \in-ˈsek-tə-ˌvō(ə)r, -ˌvȯ(ə)r \

Medical Definition of insectivore 

1 : any mammal of the order Insectivora

2 : an insectivorous plant or animal

More from Merriam-Webster on insectivore

See words that rhyme with insectivore Encyclopedia article about insectivore

Comments on insectivore

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


playful or foolish behavior

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