phyl·​lox·​e·​ra | \ˌfi-ˌläk-ˈsir-ə, fə-ˈläk-sə-rə \

Definition of phylloxera 

: 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

The wine is made from grapes farmed organically at some of the highest altitudes in Italy, and some from low-yielding pre-phylloxera vines as old as 140 years. Craig Laban,, "Drink: Elegant red wine flows from Sicilian volcano," 11 May 2018 This vineyard, though, is on sandy soils, in which phylloxera cannot survive. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "The Grape From Manchuela," 21 June 2018 Since the 19th century, when a plague of phylloxera ravaged most of Europe’s grapevines, the solution was to graft the European vines onto American roots, which are immune to the aphid. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "The Grape From Manchuela," 21 June 2018 Little can grow in layers of volcanic ash and pumice, including the phylloxera pest that destroyed most of Europe’s vineyards in the 19th century., "Volcanic Wines Are Heating Up Around the Globe," 30 Mar. 2018 Without the phylloxera plague that wiped out vineyards in France in the 1860s, France’s Champagne-makers wouldn’t have headed over the Pyrenees mountains to teach Catalonians how to do bubbly. Mark C. Anderson, San Francisco Chronicle, "Exploring cavas, caves and cuisine in Spain’s ‘other’ wine country," 22 Dec. 2017 There were vineyards down here, before phylloxera struck. The Economist, "Take the B trainA day crossing Paris by train," 16 Dec. 2017 Back in the late 19th century, the vineyards of Europe were devastated by the phylloxera aphid, which preyed on their roots. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "Colares, Where the Vineyards Snake Through the Sand," 3 Aug. 2017 The Penedès region lost many red wine varieties to the scare, and afterwards, wineries planted white varieties that had been grafted with phylloxera-resistant American rootstock. Matthew Sedacca, The Atlantic, "Resurrecting Ancient Wines That Can Survive Climate Change," 17 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phylloxera.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of phylloxera

1880, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phylloxera

New Latin, from phyll- + Greek xēros dry

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about phylloxera

Share phylloxera

Statistics for phylloxera

Last Updated

24 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for phylloxera

The first known use of phylloxera was in 1880

See more words from the same year

Comments on phylloxera

What made you want to look up phylloxera? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!