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

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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 The tiny insects, usually no bigger than the tip of a pencil, are known to hijack spider eggs for their larvae’s sustenance and development. Andrea Michelson, Smithsonian, "Tiny Parasitic Wasp Named After Idris Elba Hijacks Stink Bug Eggs," 21 Nov. 2019 The wasp returns to find an exhausted roach, mutilates its antenna, and leads it back to the nest, where the cockroach then sits still as the wasp lays its born-voracious larva inside its body. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Forever War Against Parasites Trying To Control Our Brains," 23 Sep. 2019 Beds of old shells provide a place for oyster larvae to attach and grow, so disposed shells will be collected at the event for use improving oyster habitat in the area. al, "Hangout presents ‘oyster experience’ this weekend," 31 Oct. 2019 Some of their favorite bugs includes small flies and gnats, ants, tiny insect eggs, larva and even small spiders. Jessica Pollock, The Conversation, "Curious kids: Why don’t hummingbirds get fat or sick from drinking sugary nectar?," 23 Aug. 2019 Now the firm has formulated proprietary diets for both larvae and adults. The Economist, "Beetles and flies are becoming part of the agricultural food chain," 4 July 2019 See live Monarch egg, larva and caterpillar exhibits, and celebrate the Monarch migration by tagging and releasing Monarchs, and participate in the Butterfly Garden dedication. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A listing of home and garden events for the Milwaukee area (Summer 2019 edition)," 21 June 2019 Not only do animals confuse these microplastics for larvae, the plastics also find their way into the bellies of the larvae themselves, climbing up the food chain all the way up to you and me. Wired, "A Baby Fish Crisis, the Terrible Microsoft Surface Pro X, and More News," 11 Nov. 2019 Early detection is essential as the pest can only be effectively controlled with insecticides while larvae are small. Washington Post, "The ‘Pocket-Sized Monster’ Terrifying Farmers the World Over," 25 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for larva

Time Traveler

The first known use of larva was in 1768

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Statistics for larva

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Larva.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/larva. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for larva

larva

noun
How to pronounce larva (audio)

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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Comments on larva

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