mag·​got ˈma-gət How to pronounce maggot (audio)
: a soft-bodied legless grub that is the larva of a dipterous insect (such as the housefly)
: a fantastic or eccentric idea : whim
maggoty 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 But after about 10 days, a soft spot will appear—a sign that the inside of the fruit is teeming with maggots. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 8 Sep. 2023 Scientists have compiled many more nematode connectomes, as well as brain maps of a marine annelid worm, a tadpole, a maggot and an adult fruit fly. Lauren Leffer, Scientific American, 21 Aug. 2023 His new home is Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, which is notorious for crammed conditions, abusive guards, and food that sometimes turns up with maggots. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune Crypto, 14 Aug. 2023 The eggs hatch into maggots, usually in a hidden place, and will eventually grow into adult fruit flies. USA TODAY, 20 July 2023 The maggots are fed food waste, such as the byproducts of soybean factories and breweries. Mark Tutton, CNN, 9 May 2023 Additionally, the Jefferson Parish Forensic Center’s report noted that the young woman had signs of malnutrition, skin ulcers and maggots on her body. Greg Wehner, Fox News, 28 June 2023 Citrus juices are allowed five fly eggs or one maggot per cup. Emily Heil, Washington Post, 9 June 2023 In addition to fiery ants, the frogs also feast on flies, mites, maggots and spiders. 4. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 30 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'maggot.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of maggot was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near maggot

Cite this Entry

“Maggot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


mag·​got ˈmag-ət How to pronounce maggot (audio)
: a soft-bodied legless larva of a two-winged fly (as the housefly)

Medical Definition


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