larva

noun
lar·​va | \ ˈlär-və How to pronounce larva (audio) \
plural larvae\ ˈlär-​(ˌ)vē How to pronounce larvae (audio) , -​ˌvī \ also larvas

Definition of larva

1 : the immature, wingless, and often wormlike feeding form that hatches from the egg of many insects, alters chiefly in size while passing through several molts, and is finally transformed into a pupa or chrysalis (see chrysalis sense 1a) from which the adult emerges
2 : the early form of an animal (such as a frog or sea urchin) that at birth or hatching is fundamentally unlike its parent and must metamorphose before assuming the adult characters

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Other Words from larva

larval \ ˈlär-​vəl How to pronounce larval (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for larva

Synonyms

naiad, nymph

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Examples of larva in a Sentence

The larva of a butterfly is called a caterpillar. the larva looked ugly, but it was destined to hatch into a beautiful butterfly

Recent Examples on the Web

Japanese Beetles Adults are metallic blue-green, ½-inch beetles with bronze wing covers, while larvae are fat, white grubs with brown heads. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "The 10 Most Destructive Garden Insects and How to Get Rid of Them," 10 July 2018 Because female fireflies stay close to the ground, as do firefly larva and immature insects, more foot traffic can mean more firefly casualties. Washington Post, "TravelLab: In a forest on the trail of synchronous fireflies," 20 June 2018 One object of particular ire among activists is mulesing, the practice of cutting wrinkly, woolly skin from a young sheep’s rear to create a smoother scar surface that doesn’t attract flies laying their larvae. Sarah Nassauer, WSJ, "Fiber Optics: Wool Lovers Battle Animal-Rights Crowd Over Sheep Shearing," 7 Jan. 2019 But around late summer, the queen stops producing larvae, and that means wasps no longer have access to as much sugary fluid. Megan Friedman, Popular Mechanics, "Watch Out: Wasps Are Apparently Drunk and Angry This Time of Year," 10 Aug. 2018 According to the Sussex Wildlife Trust, which alerted the Daily Mail to the drunk-wasp news, the bugs in question are worker wasps, which cannot procreate and only exist to help feed the queen wasps and larvae. Megan Friedman, Popular Mechanics, "Watch Out: Wasps Are Apparently Drunk and Angry This Time of Year," 10 Aug. 2018 The larva then feeds on the spider’s blood to survive—your classic parasite scenario. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "A Brazilian Wasp Exhibits Mind Control Over Unsuspecting Spiders," 30 Nov. 2018 The science site suggests using boiling water and a small amount of bleach to get rid of larvae. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "New Hampshire beach covered in thousands of 'nasty' maggots," 7 Sep. 2018 Adult beetles lay many eggs that hatch into larvae, which grow into adult beetles, which lay more eggs. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "How Horror Beetles Hitchhike on Bees And Then Eat Their Young," 12 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'larva.' 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 larva

1768, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for larva

New Latin, from Latin, specter, mask; akin to Latin lar Lar

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Dictionary Entries near larva

Lartet

larum

Larus

larva

Larvacea

larvaevorid

Larvaevoridae

Statistics for larva

Last Updated

24 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for larva

The first known use of larva was in 1768

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More Definitions for larva

larva

noun

English Language Learners Definition of larva

: a very young form of an insect that looks like a worm

larva

noun
lar·​va | \ ˈlär-və How to pronounce larva (audio) \
plural larvae\ -​vē \

Kids Definition of larva

1 : a young wingless form (as a grub or caterpillar) of many insects that hatches from an egg
2 : an early form of any animal (as a frog) that at birth or hatching is very different from its parents

larva

noun
lar·​va | \ ˈlär-və How to pronounce larva (audio) \
plural larvae\ -​(ˌ)vē How to pronounce larvae (audio) , -​ˌvī How to pronounce larvae (audio) \ also larvas

Medical Definition of larva

1 : the immature, wingless, and often wormlike feeding form that hatches from the egg of many insects, alters chiefly in size while passing through several molts, and is finally transformed into a pupa or chrysalis from which the adult emerges
2 : the early form of an animal (as a frog) that at birth or hatching is fundamentally unlike its parent and must metamorphose before assuming the adult characters

Other Words from larva

larval \ -​vəl How to pronounce larval (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on larva

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for larva

Spanish Central: Translation of larva

Nglish: Translation of larva for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of larva for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about larva

Comments on larva

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