larva

noun
lar·va | \ˈlär-və \
plural larvae\ˈlär-(ˌ)vē, -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 \ adjective

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

Thimble jellyfish live in the waters around Mexico and the Caribbean, but their larvae ride the waves to the southeastern shores of the United States. National Geographic, "What's Giving Some Beachgoers Rashes? Get the Facts.," 28 June 2018 Part of the issue is that there were no predators of herring larvae in any of the test environments—while less artificial than labs, these mesocosms are still designed and controlled. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Herring could actually benefit from ocean acidification," 25 Mar. 2018 Leafminer larvae can burrow inside leaves and produce tan patches. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow The Tastiest Spinach," 15 Feb. 2018 Abatement teams treat about 44,000 stormwater catch basins throughout the district, using bacteriological material that prevents larvae from growing. Kathy Routliffe, chicagotribune.com, "Heat, rain, mean earlier mosquito spray operations in Wilmette, Winnetka," 9 July 2018 What one wilderness doc thought was a simple rash or possibly the shingles on the top of his foot was actually a horde of cutaneous larva picked up while playing beach volleyball on the banks of the Amazon. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, "19 Lessons I Learned from Extreme Sports Pros," 25 June 2018 At the time of the wasting disease outbreak — the cause of which is still unknown, but may be linked to warmer temperatures — many larvae spawned by dying sea stars were still at sea. Veronique Greenwood, New York Times, "Sea Stars Started Dissolving. What Helped Some of Them Survive?," 18 June 2018 Those larvae then get picked up by biting mosquitoes, which incubate the mini mooches before transferring them to new hosts at their next blood meal. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Selfies show worm slithered through woman’s face for 2 weeks," 22 June 2018 Each year, flurries of tiny sea star larvae spend the first stage of their life floating in the open ocean. Veronique Greenwood, New York Times, "Sea Stars Started Dissolving. What Helped Some of Them Survive?," 18 June 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

11 Oct 2018

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 \
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 \
plural larvae\-(ˌ)vē, -ˌvī \ 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 \ 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

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