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

Researchers at Pablo de Olavide University in Spain created this time lapse of a developing fruit fly larva under a confocal microscope, each cell illuminated by a fluorescent protein. Scientific American, "Test Pilot Geese, Planetary Wrecking Balls and Super AI Vision: The Week’s Best Science GIFs," 6 Sep. 2019 An ash tree there was dying — a victim of the emerald ash borer, a bright-green beetle originally from Asia whose bark-munching larvae have killed hundreds of millions of trees in the U.S. since the species was discovered stateside in 2002. NBC News, "Survey of U.S. forests ties tree-killing insects to climate change," 15 Aug. 2019 Eggs soon hatch, and young larvae begin to feed on roots of nearby grass until cold weather forces them to move deeper into the soil for the winter. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "It’s Japanese beetle season. Here’s how to protect your plants from these voracious pests.," 26 July 2019 Its bark-eating larvae are thought to have killed hundreds of millions of trees since the beetle was discovered in the U.S. in 2002. NBC News, "Trump wants to buy ... Greenland? Plus Israel's 'watershed moment' and the week in pictures," 16 Aug. 2019 Predator beneficial insects that prey on Japanese beetles and their larvae are not established in our area. Betty Cahill, The Denver Post, "How to get bad insects out of your garden, from Japanese beetles to spider mites," 24 June 2019 Gall wasps or their larvae produce chemicals (phytotoxins) that stimulate the host plant to grow the gall structures. oregonlive.com, "Tips for success when planting under conifer and maple trees? Ask an expert," 8 June 2019 Then came the Mediterranean olive fruit fly, which doesn’t harm the tree but destroys the crop by laying its larva inside each olive. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Bay Area gardening: Growing olives," 6 June 2019 Loner bees leave a blob of pollen on the egg and wipe their hands of it, whereas social species dote on their larvae. Quanta Magazine, "In Bees, a Hunt for Roots of Social Behavior," 6 May 2014

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

13 Sep 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

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