po·​lyph·​a·​gous pə-ˈli-fə-gəs How to pronounce polyphagous (audio)
: feeding on or utilizing many kinds of food
polyphagy noun

Examples of polyphagous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Our results have both ecological and evolutionary implications, as retention of memory through metamorphosis could influence host choice by polyphagous insects, shape habitat selection, and lead to eventual sympatric speciation. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 23 Sep. 2016 The polyphagous shot hole borer is thought to have made its way to Johannesburg from Southeast Asia on packing crates or through the trade in plant materials. Neil Shaw, Fox News, 16 Aug. 2018 The polyphagous shot hole borer is about 0.1 inch in length. Lauren Williams, The Mercury News, 9 June 2017 U.S. Forest Service researchers estimate that the polyphagous shot hole borer beetle could kill 27 million trees in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, 38 percent of the 71 million trees in that region. Ed Fletcher, sacbee.com, 28 Apr. 2017

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

Word History


Greek polyphagos eating too much, from poly- + -phagos -phagous

First Known Use

1770, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polyphagous was in 1770

Dictionary Entries Near polyphagous

Cite this Entry

“Polyphagous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polyphagous. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

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