lepidopteran

noun

lep·​i·​dop·​ter·​an ˌle-pə-ˈdäp-tə-rən How to pronounce lepidopteran (audio)
: 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
lepidopteran adjective
lepidopterous 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lepidopteran.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

circa 1901, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lepidopteran was circa 1901

Dictionary Entries Near lepidopteran

Cite this Entry

“Lepidopteran.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lepidopteran. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

lepidopteran

noun
lep·​i·​dop·​ter·​an ˌlep-ə-ˈdäp-tə-rən How to pronounce lepidopteran (audio)
: any of a large order of insects that include the butterflies, moths, and skippers and that as adults have four wings usually covered with minute overlapping often brightly colored scales and as larvae are caterpillars
lepidopteran adjective
lepidopterous adjective

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