phyl·​lox·​e·​ra ˌfi-ˌläk-ˈsir-ə How to pronounce phylloxera (audio) fə-ˈläk-sə-rə How to pronounce phylloxera (audio)
: any of several plant lice (family Phylloxeridae)
especially : one (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae synonym Viteus vitifoliae) originally of North America but introduced into Europe and elsewhere that produces galls on the leaves and roots of grape vines and is a serious pest especially of vinifera grapes in wine-producing regions

Examples of phylloxera in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Priorat was once a country seat for the Barcelona elite and a fine wine region, but phylloxera (a pest that destroys grapevines) swept through in the early 1900s, depleting the wine industry. Maya Kachroo-Levine, Travel + Leisure, 26 Nov. 2023 By the 1860s, phylloxera from North America had reached France, hitching a ride on grapevines imported by European botanists. Alex Mayyasi, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Nov. 2023 To this day, all of Europe’s famous grapes grow on vines that have been grafted onto American rootstock to protect against phylloxera. Alex Mayyasi, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Nov. 2023 Greece’s Peloponnese region experienced a boom in wine production starting in the 1860s, when the industry in France collapsed because of a phylloxera epidemic. Sarah Souli, Travel + Leisure, 10 Nov. 2023 But a phylloxera outbreak in the 1970s all but wiped out the island’s vineyards. Chadner Navarro, Condé Nast Traveler, 21 Aug. 2023 Pesticides provided a short-term solution, but Espino was the genetic scientist who identified a strain of Cuban black tobacco that was resistant to this infestation, enabling the country to overcome its phylloxera moment. Nicholas Foulkes, Robb Report, 15 Apr. 2023 The white timorasso was on the verge of extinction, having all but disappeared during the phylloxera. Per and Britt Karlsson, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 Mondeuse is an old grape variety that was grown before the phylloxera in several parts of eastern France. Per and Britt Karlsson, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021

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

Word History


New Latin, from phyll- + Greek xēros dry

First Known Use

1880, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of phylloxera was in 1880

Dictionary Entries Near phylloxera

Cite this Entry

“Phylloxera.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

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