pupa

noun
pu·​pa | \ ˈpyü-pə How to pronounce pupa (audio) \
plural pupae\ ˈpyü-​(ˌ)pē How to pronounce pupa (audio) also  -​ˌpī \ or pupas

Definition of pupa

: an intermediate usually quiescent stage of a metamorphic insect (such as a bee, moth, or beetle) that occurs between the larva and the imago, is usually enclosed in a cocoon or protective covering, and undergoes internal changes by which larval structures are replaced by those typical of the imago

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pupa

pupal \ ˈpyü-​pəl How to pronounce pupa (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pupa in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At this time of year, a pupa in the soil is likely to be the winter cutworm, Noctua pronuba. oregonlive, "Need help deterring pests in the garden? Ask an expert," 2 May 2020 The insect’s larvae feed on the upper part of the plant’s root for about two months before going into the pupa stage inside the plant. Keith Ridler, San Diego Union-Tribune, "US approves releasing non-native insect to control thistle," 18 Sep. 2019 On its 14-day journey from hatchling to pupa, a single larva will grow nearly an inch long and increase its weight by a factor of 10,000. Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post, "Maggots: A taste of food’s future," 3 July 2019 Japanese beetles have a one-year complete life cycle from egg, larva, pupa to adult. Betty Cahill, The Denver Post, "How to get bad insects out of your garden, from Japanese beetles to spider mites," 24 June 2019 District workers, who also treat other breeding locations in forest preserves and elsewhere, use surfactants to smother mosquitoes that make it to the pupa form. Kathy Routliffe, chicagotribune.com, "Heat, rain, mean earlier mosquito spray operations in Wilmette, Winnetka," 9 July 2018 When a rescuer touches a lightly injured ant with its antennae, the injured ant folds its remaining legs up in a position similar to a pupa and lies still, making itself easier to carry. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "In wars with termites, ants rescue and care for their wounded," 14 Feb. 2018 When the butterfly emerged from its pupa, Robert Reed was stunned. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "Scientists Can Now Repaint Butterfly Wings," 18 Sep. 2017 In fact, as soon as one of the ants emerged from its pupa, the other members of the colony ate him. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "T. Rex Ants Found Alive for the First Time," 17 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pupa.' 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 pupa

1770, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pupa

New Latin, from Latin pupa doll

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pupa

Statistics for pupa

Cite this Entry

“Pupa.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pupa. Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pupa

pupa

noun
How to pronounce pupa (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pupa

biology : an insect that is in the stage of development between larva and adult

pupa

noun
pu·​pa | \ ˈpyü-pə How to pronounce pupa (audio) \
plural pupae\ -​ˌpē \ or pupas

Kids Definition of pupa

: an insect (as a bee, moth, or beetle) in an intermediate inactive stage of its growth in which it is enclosed in a cocoon or case

pupa

noun
pu·​pa | \ ˈpyü-pə How to pronounce pupa (audio) \
plural pupae\ -​(ˌ)pē How to pronounce pupa (audio) , -​ˌpī How to pronounce pupa (audio) \ or pupas

Medical Definition of pupa

: an intermediate usually quiescent stage of an insect that occurs between the larva and the imago in forms (as a bee, moth, or beetle) which undergo complete metamorphosis and that is characterized by internal changes by which larval structures are replaced by those typical of the imago

Other Words from pupa

pupal \ ˈpyü-​pəl How to pronounce pupa (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on pupa

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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