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

On its 14-day journey from hatchling to pupa, a single larva will grow nearly an inch long and increase its weight by a factor of 10,000. Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post, "Maggots: A taste of food’s future," 3 July 2019 The flies hatch from larvae that burrow in the lake sediment for two or three years, Wills said. Anna Bauman, Detroit Free Press, "Fish flies swarm St. Clair Shores, other lakeside communities across metro Detroit," 21 June 2019 The spraying is being done a week earlier than originally planned because of the heavy rains and high number of mosquito larvae discovered. Cindy Krischer Goodman, sun-sentinel.com, "Disease-carrying mosquitoes targeted for weekend spraying," 19 June 2019 Last winter when McNee returned to his office from Brookfield, a few of the larvae were dark and appeared to have been affected by freezing temperatures. Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Despite last winter's polar vortex, emerald ash borer continues to march across Wisconsin," 18 June 2019 First, the wasp's tiny larvae hitch onto the spider's abdomen. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "How Wasps Turn Spiders Into Obedient Zombies," 30 Apr. 2019 Now some of the best evidence has emerged from a new study of fly larva development, reported recently in Cell. Quanta Magazine, "The Math That Tells Cells What They Are," 13 Mar. 2019 These herbs attract beneficial parasitic and predatory wasps that kill bad bugs and larvae. Thad Orr, Sunset, "Your Essential Gardening To-Do List for April," 22 Jan. 2018 Japanese Beetles Adults are metallic blue-green, ½-inch beetles with bronze wing covers, while larvae are fat, white grubs with brown heads. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "The 10 Most Destructive Garden Insects and How to Get Rid of Them," 10 July 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

19 Jul 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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