ovipositor

noun
ovi·​pos·​i·​tor | \ˈō-və-ˌpä-zə-tər, ˌō-və-ˈpä-\

Definition of ovipositor 

: a specialized organ (as of an insect) for depositing eggs — see insect illustration

Examples of ovipositor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

These wasps lay their eggs inside their host using organs known as ovipositors, which are shaped like tubes. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Fossils Show Ancient Horrifying Xenomorph-Style Insects," 29 Aug. 2018 Parasitoid wasps like the Clistopyga crassicaudata typically have a long ovipositor to lay eggs that is also used as a stinger. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Newly Discovered Wasp Has a Terrifyingly Large Stinger," 8 July 2018 Research already demonstrates that the differences in ovipositor length and body size in the yucca moths’ genomes are more pronounced, suggesting that natural selection has driven the discrepancy. Sam Schipani, Smithsonian, "How a Tree and Its Moth Shaped the Mojave Desert," 10 Aug. 2017 In turn, the moth lays her eggs with its thin, blade-like ovipositor on the flowers’ seeds. Sam Schipani, Smithsonian, "How a Tree and Its Moth Shaped the Mojave Desert," 10 Aug. 2017 When the styles are too short, the moths can damage the flowers with their ovipositor. Sam Schipani, Smithsonian, "How a Tree and Its Moth Shaped the Mojave Desert," 10 Aug. 2017 Stinger and ovipositors are now separate in all insects except parasitic wasps, which often inject their eggs into a host with just a splash of paralyzing venom. National Geographic, "The Worst Places to be Stung? Ask This Guy," 5 June 2016 Once the plant surface is covered, insects have a really difficult time inserting either their mouthparts or ovipositors into the plants to do damage. Sally Mccabe, Philly.com, "June 16-22: In the garden, it's time to…," 16 June 2017 Stingers evolved from ovipositors, the tubes through which eggs are laid, which are, of course, found only in females. National Geographic, "The Worst Places to be Stung? Ask This Guy," 5 June 2016

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

1815, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ovipositor

New Latin, from Latin ov- + positor one that places, from ponere to place — more at position

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Dictionary Entries near ovipositor

ovipara

oviparous

oviposit

ovipositor

oviraptor

Ovis

oviscapt

Statistics for ovipositor

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for ovipositor

The first known use of ovipositor was in 1815

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More Definitions for ovipositor

ovipositor

noun
ovi·​pos·​i·​tor | \ˈō-və-ˌpäz-ət-ər, ˌō-və-ˈ \

Medical Definition of ovipositor 

: a specialized organ (as of an insect) for depositing eggs

More from Merriam-Webster on ovipositor

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ovipositor

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