lep·​i·​dop·​ter·​an | \ˌle-pə-ˈdäp-tə-rən \

Definition of lepidopteran 

: any of a large order (Lepidoptera) of insects comprising the butterflies, moths, and skippers that as adults have four broad or lanceolate wings usually covered with minute overlapping and often brightly colored scales and that as larvae are caterpillars

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from lepidopteran

lepidopteran adjective
lepidopterous \ ˌle-​pə-​ˈdäp-​tə-​rəs \ adjective

Examples of lepidopteran in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Potentially harmful lepidopteran larva was found in the peppers. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "The harmful seeds were hidden in luggage. Fortunately, Sheila the beagle found them. | Charlotte Observer," 16 Apr. 2018 In a riff on the magazine’s first cover, from 1925, by Rea Irvin, Blitt imagines a future in which our dandy mascot has become Eustace Vladimirovich Tilley and the lepidopteran under scrutiny is none other than a stunned Donald Trump. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, "Cover Story: Tomer Hanuka’s “Spring Awakening”," 13 Mar. 2017 Mothra Mothra‘s enormous lepidopteran, unveiled onscreen in 1961, combines traits of both butterflies and moths. Hugh Hart, WIRED, "Mega-Monsters Make Magnificent Movies," 6 Apr. 2010

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lepidopteran.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of lepidopteran

circa 1901, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lepidopteran

New Latin Lepidoptera, from lepid- + Greek pteron wing — more at feather

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lepidopteran

Share lepidopteran

Statistics for lepidopteran

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lepidopteran

The first known use of lepidopteran was circa 1901

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on lepidopteran

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lepidopteran

Comments on lepidopteran

What made you want to look up lepidopteran? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!