insectivore

noun
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

And all of these species are insectivores, happy to feed on the creatures that provide them shelter. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "These animals make homes for other species," 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, SFChronicle.com, "A deadly fungus is killing millions of bats in the US. Now it’s in California," 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, "Scientists discover a sixth species of Ebola virus — in bats," 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, "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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about insectivore

Statistics for insectivore

Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insectivore

The first known use of insectivore was in 1840

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for insectivore

insectivore

noun

English Language Learners Definition of insectivore

technical : an animal that eats insects

insectivore

noun
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with insectivore

Britannica.com: 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

readily or continually undergoing change

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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