pill bug


: wood louse
especially : a wood louse capable of curling itself into a ball

Examples of pill bug in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The examples are numerous, from giant isopods that resemble overgrown pill bugs to the elusive colossal squid. Max Bennett, Discover Magazine, 15 Jan. 2024 Control snails, slugs, and roly polies (aka pill bugs) with Sluggo Plus , an iron phosphate product that is not toxic to birds, mammals (including us), caterpillars, butterflies, etc. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 June 2023 With their very real and not science fiction system, the researchers were able to successfully determine that pill bugs can exert about 10 micronewtons of force through their legs, which is about the same as what has been estimated using other techniques. IEEE Spectrum, 7 Mar. 2023 These pill bug-like sea creatures first emerged 521 million years ago and died out 252 million years ago in the mass extinction that gave way to the dinosaurs. Kate Golembiewski, CNN, 23 Jan. 2023 Each of three cups adjacent to the machine contained a live pill bug. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 1 Oct. 2013 The warrior and her pet pill bug, Tuk Tuk, must find the last dragon, Sisu, to save Kumandra from the Druun once again. Seventeen, 31 Aug. 2022 At one point, Ramgopal paused to rescue a pill bug from the hallway floor. E. Tammy Kim, The New Yorker, 22 July 2022 While his fear may be disappointing to fans of insects, as well as other in-game creatures like spiders, pill bugs and moths, Blathers always promises to take care of any donation entrusted to him. Theresa MacHemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 May 2020

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

Word History


pill entry 2; from its rolling into a ball when disturbed

First Known Use

1843, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pill bug was in 1843

Dictionary Entries Near pill bug

Cite this Entry

“Pill bug.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pill%20bug. Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

pill bug

: wood louse
especially : a wood louse able to curl itself into a ball

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