lep·​i·​dop·​ter·​an | \ ˌle-pə-ˈdäp-tə-rən How to pronounce lepidopteran (audio) \

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

Other Words from lepidopteran

lepidopteran adjective
lepidopterous \ ˌle-​pə-​ˈdäp-​tə-​rəs How to pronounce lepidopteran (audio) \ adjective

Examples of lepidopteran in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Then, in 1926, a solution was finally found: an Argentine lepidopteran (moth) known as Cactoblastis cactorum, a parasite of various species of Opuntia. Longreads, 23 Mar. 2021 Potentially harmful lepidopteran larva was found in the peppers. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, 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, 13 Mar. 2017 Mothra Mothra‘s enormous lepidopteran, unveiled onscreen in 1961, combines traits of both butterflies and moths. Hugh Hart, WIRED, 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.

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

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The first known use of lepidopteran was circa 1901

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Cite this Entry

“Lepidopteran.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lepidopteran. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on lepidopteran

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lepidopteran


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