lo·​cust | \ ˈlō-kəst How to pronounce locust (audio) \

Definition of locust

1 : short-horned grasshopper especially : a migratory grasshopper often traveling in vast swarms and stripping the areas passed of all vegetation
2 : cicada
3a : any of various leguminous trees: such as
(2) : black locust
(3) : honey locust
b : the wood of a locust tree

Examples of locust in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

These operatives are the swarming locusts of politics, eating all in their path. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "The Odd Way We Announce for President Now," 17 Jan. 2019 Not the kind who descend like a swarm of noisy, hungry locusts, devouring the object of their desire. Gully Wells, WSJ, "A Trip to the Florida of Yore," 12 Dec. 2018 Musk points out that with shipping-container farms, which lock out all the traditional encumbrances of farming—drought, locusts, 24-hour cycles of day and night—optimization of food is possible. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Kimbal Musk Is Reinventing Food One Shipping Container at a Time," 24 Oct. 2018 Non-riders saw a swarm of locusts devouring precious inches of sidewalk and street, backed by companies that were the epitome of tech-bro arrogance. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Electric scooters’ sudden invasion of American cities, explained," 7 Sep. 2018 Choose a naturally rot-resistant wood such as cedar or locust, or use pine treated with a preservative. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Container Gardening," 13 Aug. 2018 No reason to watch out for frogs and locusts over a preseason scope job. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "It might be nothing, but until we know more, K.J. Wright’s knee treatment certainly is worrisome," 27 Aug. 2018 Pine boards were used to give the concrete walls a wood-grain finish, which harmonize with the home’s black-locust siding (milled from trees on the property felled during Hurricane Irene). Amy Gamerman, WSJ, "The Rise of the Fashionable Concrete Home," 9 Aug. 2018 My eyes watched the busy ground, flexing with ant highways and beetles, jumpy locusts and white butterflies. Andrew Evans,, "Feel the pull of the prairie on a uniquely American safari in Montana," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'locust.' 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 locust

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for locust

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

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Time Traveler for locust

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

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More Definitions for locust



English Language Learners Definition of locust

: a type of grasshopper that travels in very large groups and that can cause great destruction by eating crops


lo·​cust | \ ˈlō-kəst How to pronounce locust (audio) \

Kids Definition of locust

1 : a grasshopper that moves in huge swarms and eats up the plants in its path
2 : cicada
3 : a tree with hard wood, leaves with many leaflets, and drooping flower clusters

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More from Merriam-Webster on locust

Spanish Central: Translation of locust

Nglish: Translation of locust for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of locust for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about locust

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