mouth·​part | \ ˈmau̇th-ˌpärt How to pronounce mouthpart (audio) \

Definition of mouthpart

: a structure or appendage near the mouth (as of an insect) especially when adapted for use in gathering or eating food

Examples of mouthpart in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Mosquitoes, for instance, pierce the skin with their long, thin mouthparts, while certain biting flies boast serrated jaws that slash through flesh. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Why the World Needs Bloodsucking Creatures," 2 Dec. 2019 The insect had a curved body and head for reaching inside flowers to feed, and its mouthparts include leglike appendages for collecting and transporting pollen similar to those of modern beetle pollinators. Stephenie Livingston, Science | AAAS, "This amber-encased beetle may have been one of the first insects to pollinate flowers," 11 Nov. 2019 Looking at the shape of their mouthparts, the team predicted that the nematodes had different lifestyles; some were adapted for grazing on microbes, some were designed for predation and others were set up for parasitizing a host animal. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "California’s Saltiest Lake Is Home to This Arsenic-Resistant, Three-Sexed Worm," 1 Oct. 2019 Because moths had already developed strawlike mouthparts, one group was able to exploit the novel food source, and evolved into butterflies. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "A new theory on how moths evolved into butterflies is also a lesson in career changes," 23 Oct. 2019 When the material gets wet, however, their needle-like mouthparts slip right through. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Graphene-Coated Fabric Causes Mosquitoes to Buzz Off," 20 Aug. 2019 But the sensation is uniquely tactile, not at all unpleasant, as thousands of soft, plump grubs, each the size of a grain of rice, wriggle against your skin, tiny mouthparts gently poking your flesh. Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post, "Maggots: A taste of food’s future," 3 July 2019 Known as an assassin bug, Sycanus uses its mouthpart to stab its insect prey, including the fire caterpillar, one of the most important pests of oil palm trees. Dyna Rochmyaningsih, Science | AAAS, "Courting controversy, scientists team with industry to tackle one of the world’s most destructive crops," 11 July 2019 But the tick that covertly slid its pointy barbed mouthparts into an unlucky 66-year-old Yonkers resident was something new. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Terrifying Unknowns of an Exotic Invasive Tick," 28 June 2019

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

1799, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for mouthpart

Time Traveler

The first known use of mouthpart was in 1799

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Cite this Entry

“Mouthpart.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for mouthpart


mouth·​part | \ ˈmau̇th-ˌpärt How to pronounce mouthpart (audio) \

Medical Definition of mouthpart

: a structure or appendage near the mouth especially of an insect

Comments on mouthpart

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