locust

noun

lo·​cust ˈlō-kəst How to pronounce locust (audio)
1
: short-horned grasshopper
especially : a migratory grasshopper often traveling in vast swarms and stripping the areas passed of all vegetation
2
: cicada
3
a
: any of various leguminous trees: such as
(2)
(3)
b
: the wood of a locust tree

Examples of locust in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The era felt something akin to end times, minus the horsemen and locusts. Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, 17 Jan. 2024 Fran is a bit like Biblical Job: she’s got a dying sister with two children, and before the play’s end more awful and unbelievable contingencies come flying into her life like a plague of locusts. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 11 Mar. 2024 The most severe locust crisis in recent history came to East Africa in 2019 and 2020, when both drought and extreme rainfall made conditions ripe for locust breeding and growth. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Feb. 2024 When exposed to infrared laser light, the nanoparticles then emitted chemicals to boost brain activity tied to a locust’s olfactory senses. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 9 Feb. 2024 Reynolds herself connects the event to a reference to locusts that opens the Book of Joel in the Old Testament. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 17 Jan. 2024 The plant can grow on birch, cottonwood, locust, maple, walnut, and apple trees. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 12 Dec. 2023 Giant scarabs have been getting under man's skin both literally and figuratively since antiquity in The Mummy, and if cutting a large beetle out from one's bicep isn't icky enough, the swarm of locusts will send shivers down any spine. Sarah Sprague, EW.com, 19 Oct. 2023 The authors started collaborating at Oxford, studying the eating preferences of locusts (grasshoppers, basically). Manvir Singh, The New Yorker, 25 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'locust.' 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

Middle English, from Anglo-French locuste, from Latin locusta

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of locust was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near locust

Cite this Entry

“Locust.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/locust. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

locust

noun
lo·​cust ˈlō-kəst How to pronounce locust (audio)
1
a
: short-horned grasshopper
especially : a grasshopper that often migrates in vast swarms and eats up the plants in its course
b
: cicada
2
a
: any of various trees of the legume family with hard wood
b
: the wood of a locust

More from Merriam-Webster on locust

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