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

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

But at the larva stage, blister beetles take a slight detour that brings them in contact with a particular species of bees. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "How Horror Beetles Hitchhike on Bees And Then Eat Their Young," 12 Sep. 2018 Kelli Mulhollen Dumas, his mother, told The Washington Post that he was diagnosed with cutaneous larva migrans, as a result. Caitlin Wolper, Teen Vogue, "Hookworms Buried Themselves Into a Tennessee Teen's Skin," 28 July 2018 Aside from different nesting preferences, the main difference between bees and wasps is that bees feed their larvae pollen, while wasps — a category that includes yellow jackets and hornets — nourish theirs with insects. Rebecca Straus, Good Housekeeping, "6 Ways to Keep Wasps Away From You," 26 July 2018 In eel larvae, for example, researchers found that 76 percent of prey DNA belonged to jellyfish. Carl Zimmer, The Seattle Times, "In the sea, a big appetite for jellyfish," 26 Oct. 2018 The resulting larvae stay together as a group and lure male bees to stop nearby. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Gangs of beetle larvae lure fathers of their next meal into sex trap," 12 Sep. 2018 The tiny larvae were seen wiggling on top of piles of seaweed that washed ashore as well as covering patches of sand near the surf. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "New Hampshire beach covered in thousands of 'nasty' maggots," 7 Sep. 2018 In order for most mosquito larvae to grow, temperatures need to be above a threshold, which varies, depending on the species, but is typically around seven to 16 degrees Celsius. Heath Macmillan, Smithsonian, "Why Some Summers Are So Appealing For Mosquitoes," 22 June 2018 Even the larvae feed on organic matter and grass roots, potentially causing a great deal of damage to your lawn. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Defend Your Garden Against Japanese Beetles," 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

6 Dec 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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