mag·​got | \ ˈma-gət How to pronounce maggot (audio) \

Definition of maggot

1 : a soft-bodied legless grub that is the larva of a dipterous insect (such as the housefly)
2 : a fantastic or eccentric idea : whim

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Other Words from maggot

maggoty \ ˈma-​gə-​tē How to pronounce maggot (audio) \ adjective

Examples of maggot in a Sentence

The rotten meat was infested with maggots. the last maggot he got in his head resulted in a disastrous extramarital affair
Recent Examples on the Web The dusty construction guy made common cause with the lawyer licking his paws and the bearded militiaman with a maggot in his brainstem. James Parker, The Atlantic, "Epitaph on a Tyrant (Sort Of)," 20 Jan. 2021 Gigler had to research how to remove Riptide's maggot infestation, which involved wrapping the dog's belly in plastic, pumping in an anesthetic gas to sedate the insects and them hosing them off with water. Shannon Prather, Star Tribune, "Animal aid groups help give local dogs a new lease on life," 20 Aug. 2020 Unscavenged carcasses bloated with gas before bursting open and revealing millions of writhing maggots inside. Abby Jones, The Conversation, "Rotting feral pig carcasses teach scientists what happens when tons of animals die all at once, as in Australia’s bushfires," 10 Jan. 2020 Bloody Mary could contain up to four maggots and 20 or more fruit fly eggs. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Bugs, rodent hair and poop: How much is legally allowed in the food you eat every day?," 4 Oct. 2019 So far, videos posted by users appear to show maggots, spiders, and other bugs crawling in and out of the berries. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Why you shouldn't worry about eating the bugs that live on your strawberries," 21 May 2020 One facility, Holman Prison, was in such bad condition that it was partially closed in January, after investigators learned of open sewage in the prison and prisoners reported rats roaming around and maggots in the kitchens. Joyce White Vance, Time, "The Coronavirus Is Hitting Our Nation's Prisons and Jails Hard. And It's Exposing a Crisis That Existed Long Before the Outbreak," 22 Apr. 2020 Claire sends Bree out to hunt for maggots and sits at Jamie’s bedside. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Outlander recap: Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?," 20 Apr. 2020 In 1825, visitors to St. George’s Hospital in London discovered mushrooms and maggots thriving in the damp, dirty sheets of a patient recovering from a compound fracture. Lindsey Fitzharris, WSJ, "The Unsung Pioneer of Handwashing," 19 Mar. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for maggot

Middle English magot, probably alteration of mathek, maddok; akin to Middle Low German mēdeke maggot, Old Norse mathkr, Old English matha

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Time Traveler for maggot

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for maggot

Last Updated

27 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Maggot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for maggot



English Language Learners Definition of maggot

: an insect that looks like a small worm and that is a young form of a fly


mag·​got | \ ˈma-gət How to pronounce maggot (audio) \

Kids Definition of maggot

: a legless grub that is the larva of a fly (as a housefly)


mag·​got | \ ˈmag-ət How to pronounce maggot (audio) \

Medical Definition of maggot

: a soft-bodied legless grub that is the larva of a dipteran fly (as the housefly) and develops usually in decaying organic matter or as a parasite in plants or animals

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