larva

noun
lar·​va | \ ˈlär-və How to pronounce larva (audio) \
plural larvae\ ˈlär-​(ˌ)vē How to pronounce larva (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 larva (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 Docker had previously proposed another model of lamprey evolution that involves an ancestor with some traits of both larva and adult. Philip Kiefer, Popular Science, "These fossilized lamprey hatchlings disprove an age-old evolutionary theory," 11 Mar. 2021 The majority of its work entails targeted treatments of standing water inside the city, using larva-eating fish and chemical larvicides applied directly to the water. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Air Force planning an aerial assault on mosquitoes near the Great Salt Lake," 8 Mar. 2021 The wasp larva eats the moth egg from the inside, and a wasp hatches. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Historic British Mansion Fights Moths With Tiny Parasitic Wasps," 19 Feb. 2021 This observation not only revealed a key sensor used in the egg-laying process but also confirmed the critical importance of proper egg placement—a larva that hatched in the wrong place usually died without finding the roach's weak spot. Kenneth C. Catania, Scientific American, "The Epic, Absurdly Complex Battle between a Zombie Maker and Its Victim," 1 Feb. 2021 For apple maggot and codling moth, you best approach is to put paper bags or nylon footies over individual apples to protect them from the crawling larva of each of the insects. oregonlive, "Will dormant oil harm flocking birds? Ask an expert," 23 Jan. 2021 The researchers then dug their own artificial sand traps and saw that the prey was able to escape out of the pit when a larva wasn’t inside flinging up sand. Emily Harwitz, Science | AAAS, "How voracious antlions engineer deadly sand traps," 29 Dec. 2020 The tree’s failure to kill this larva was a strike against its future in the breeding program. Gabriel Popkin, Science | AAAS, "Can an ambitious breeding effort save North America’s ash trees?," 12 Nov. 2020 Unfortunately for the caterpillar, that egg soon hatches into a larva, which feeds on its insides. Matt Simon, Wired, "‘Godzilla’ Wasp Swims—So Its Young Can Burst Out of Caterpillars," 9 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for larva

Last Updated

29 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Larva.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/larva. Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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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 larva (audio) , -​ˌvī How to pronounce larva (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 larva (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on larva

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