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 Naturalist John James Audubon, namesake of the Audubon Society, saw a few in the 1800s and compared them to a locust invasion. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Mar. 2022 Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Monday, painting a bleak picture of a warming world, which could see Miami, Shanghai and Alexandria, Egypt, disappear under rising seas and locust swarms devour crops in the searing heat. Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2021 Insufficient rainfall since late 2020 has come as a fatal blow to populations already suffering from a locust invasion from 2019 to 2021 and the Covid-19 pandemic. Patrick Galey, NBC News, 28 Feb. 2022 For those less enamored by the thought of munching on the occasional locust or even food made with insect flour, the EU has thought of that too. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 11 Feb. 2022 Ethiopia's already high humanitarian needs are expected to rise in the coming year due to the ongoing conflict, drought, flooding, disease outbreaks and locust infestation, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated. Fox News, 24 Dec. 2021 The 49ers’ season died before a raucous crowd that was at least half 49ers fans, the most impressive invasion since the locust thing in the bible. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Jan. 2022 That’s the chemical stylings of Nematus tibialis, a locust sawfly larva. Karen Hopkin, Scientific American, 31 Oct. 2021 Last year, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya faced a food security threat from the worst desert-locust invasion in decades — which the United Nations linked to climate change. Time, 27 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near locust

locus standi



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Last Updated

25 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Locust.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for locust


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

More from Merriam-Webster on locust

Nglish: Translation of locust for Spanish Speakers

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


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