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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web 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 In the 19th century, Serbia was one of the most important wine-making areas of the Austro-Hungarian empire — and when phylloxera ravaged the vineyards of Burgundy and Bordeaux, the French turned to this region to satisfy their thirst. Sarah Souli, Travel + Leisure, 25 May 2020 In the 18th century, Stromboli’s inhabitants farmed the volcano’s terraced slopes, but, in 1880, a parasitic phylloxera outbreak attacked the grapevines and destroyed the agricultural culture. Andrea Frazzetta, National Geographic, 29 Dec. 2019 But then came the devastating blight of phylloxera in the 1860s, followed eventually by World War I and the arrival of heavy industry spearheaded by the Michelin tire company, based nearby in Clermont. Stephen Heyman, Condé Nast Traveler, 11 Nov. 2019 By the early 1900s, when the French 75 was introduced, cognac wasn’t so common, partially due to the mid-1800s phylloxera epidemic, which had diminished production. Chadner Navarro, WSJ, 27 May 2019 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,, 11 May 2018 This vineyard, though, is on sandy soils, in which phylloxera cannot survive. Eric Asimov, New York Times, 21 June 2018 See More

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.

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 22 Mar. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Challenging Standardized Test Words

  • high school student holding a pencil leaning over a sat test
  • Despite the cacophony, the student tried to study.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?