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 This relentless year has already hammered East Africa with its worst locust swarms in seven decades, laying waste to crops across the region. David Meyer, Fortune, "Why the U.S. needs to help the world get vaccinated," 17 Dec. 2020 The Horn of Africa and Yemen are suffering a second wave of locust plagues that threatens to spread on both sides of the Red Sea. David Meyer, Fortune, "Why the U.S. needs to help the world get vaccinated," 17 Dec. 2020 The 1931 census was marred by tax riots and a locust invasion. Akanni Ibukun Akinyemi, Quartz Africa, "The tricky, politicized history of Nigeria’s census and how to undo its long-term harm," 11 Dec. 2020 Perhaps the biggest shock of all: less than thirty years later this particular locust species went completely extinct. Tom Mcnamara, Popular Science, "Here’s the real story behind Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’," 3 Dec. 2020 The locust invasion is Ethiopia's worst in 25 years, United Nations food agency FAO says. Reuters, CNN, "Locust swarms spread across Ethiopia aided by heavy rains and Covid pandemic," 20 Oct. 2020 The plan includes replacing the locust trees with more urban-friendly silk ivory lilac trees, which the city most recently planted on the east tree lawn of Lakewood Park. John Benson, cleveland, "Lakewood City Council seeks to clarify city’s tree removal policy; Mayor George has issues with proposal," 25 Nov. 2020 Abiy’s government has had to deal with, including tensions with Egypt over an Ethiopian dam project on the Blue Nile River and locust outbreak across East Africa. Washington Post, "Ethiopia sends troops into renegade northern province as long simmering tensions explode," 4 Nov. 2020 The worst locust outbreak in decades—especially in the Horn of Africa—wiped out crops in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, deepening poverty and food crises. Alberto Lucas LÓpez, National Geographic, "Poverty spreads around the globe," 13 Oct. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for locust

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Locust.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of locust for Spanish Speakers

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

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