monarch butterfly


Definition of monarch butterfly 

: a large migratory American butterfly (Danaus plexippus) that has orange-brown wings with black veins and borders and a larva that feeds on milkweed

Illustration of monarch butterfly

Illustration of monarch butterfly

Examples of monarch butterfly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Presentation on milkweeds and an update on the status of the monarch butterfly, followed by a tour of the Monarch Trail. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A listing of home and garden events for the Milwaukee area (Summer 2018 edition)," 4 July 2018 The Fowler family has milkweed on its property where monarch butterflies lay their eggs, Ashley Fowler said. Gloria Casas, Elgin Courier-News, "Inaugural monarch festival raises butterfly awareness in Kane County," 23 June 2018 Winter campers can observe thousands of monarch butterflies clustered in the neighboring eucalyptus grove. Sunset, "13 Best Beach Camping Spots," 22 Jan. 2018 A year later, plants such as woolgrass bulrush, brome hummock sedge, giant bur-reed, marsh marigold, queen-of-the-prairie and spike gayfeather are attracting dragonflies and monarch butterflies. Patrick M. O'connell,, "A 'wild mile' on the Chicago River? It might be closer than you think," 22 June 2018 Officials said the number of monarch butterflies and milkweed species in Arizona has increased, according to garden’s website. Melina Zuñiga, azcentral, "Got milkweed? Desert Botanical Garden's program could help save Monarch butterflies," 9 June 2018 While monarch butterflies flies using the reliable direction of the rising and setting sun, moths fly at night by the shifting moonlight. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Moths Can Use the Earth’s Magnetic Field to Navigate," 23 June 2018 However feeding on it as caterpillars gives monarch butterflies their unpalatability to predators. Kenneth Setzer, miamiherald, "Some of South Florida's most popular plants may be toxic to pets," 14 June 2018 Some participants held giant cutouts of the monarch butterfly, representing free migration. Michael Katz, idahostatesman, "Boise protesters: 'Those seeking refuge' shouldn't have families torn apart in U.S.," 30 June 2018

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

1890, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

27 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for monarch butterfly

The first known use of monarch butterfly was in 1890

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More Definitions for monarch butterfly

monarch butterfly


English Language Learners Definition of monarch butterfly

: a large orange and black American butterfly

monarch butterfly


Kids Definition of monarch butterfly

: a large orange and black American butterfly

More from Merriam-Webster on monarch butterfly Encyclopedia article about monarch butterfly

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obstinately defiant of authority

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